Such Happiness In Thought Happens

The Year That Was 2007

Well it is that time of year again – to reflect over what has happened in the past year and say what has been good/excellent, etc and what have been the low times. This may ramble for a bit but hopefully it will have some structure in it.

 

Timeline

At the beginning of 2007 Agnes and I lived in Bundamba, I worked for New Horizons and there was just the two of us and our cats. As this year draws to a close Agnes and I live in Riverhills (Brisbane), I work for Priority Management and we are expecting twins around mid next year. A bit of a turn around, especially as we were not expecting a lot from this year.

 

In January I applied for an ad for a Trainer from Seek and I eventually landed the role at Priority Management. I started Valentine’s Day and have enjoyed it ever since. Towards the end of February/beginning of March I recommenced uni after 6 months off. As I was unsure of what the year would hold I decided on only one subject and when uni finished in July I obtained a High Distinction – 7 out of 7, my first 7! But due to the amount of travel required for work I decided to have another 6 month leave of absence. I really felt like giving it up due to the hassle of lectures, tutorials and group assignments. But only 4 subjects to go, so I was convinced to try external studies, which I applied for in November.

 

In April I started travel for work and did a workshop in Sydney, then slowly progressed from there to other Queensland cities. In the month of July I calculated that I was in Emerald for 9 out of the possible 23 days. There was more than 7 weeks straight of travel. This could mainly be blamed on BMA instigating some Project training due to a change in monthly reporting. It was due to the increased travel and having to drive back from the airport late in the afternoon/early evening and getting caught in traffic on the Ipswich Motorway, that I decide that I had had enough and wanted to move. One memorable afternoon I spent more than 2 hours in traffic trying to get home. So Agnes and I discussed it and we decided to look for a new place to live in Brisbane. After initial research the best place we could afford was Brisbane West – Jindalee, Darra, Oxley, etc. Agnes shortlisted three houses 400,000 and below to look at one Saturday, and the last one (the most expensive) was most suited to our needs. So we put in an offer on Sunday, and after negotiation we signed a contract Monday morning before I flew out yet again. We asked for a 60 day settlement so we had time to get our place in order and sell it.

 

In mid August, Agnes and I had a long weekend at Springbrook so we could have some quality time together. I organised everything and we had one cottage at ForgetMeNot Cottages from Thursday evening (after flying back from central Qld) through to Sunday morning (I had to fly out again Monday morning and we wanted time to get the house in order, etc). We had a relaxing weekend doing not much at all. We went horseback riding on Friday, had massages Saturday and not much else. We had good intentions to go hiking, but just didn’t feel like it. The view from the back veranda was gorgeous, a valley eventually leading to hills in the distance.

 

Most of our weekends after this were taken up with getting our Bundamba house in order and deciding what renovations we wanted to do to the Riverhills house before we moved in. Some of the work that had to be done at Bundamba involved back filling retaining walls and erecting other retaining walls around the yard. One Sunday was spent in the rain backfilling gravel into the side retaining wall. The following weekend was fixing up the last bits with dirt, but there was trouble with the SAPAR trucks on Friday and Saturday getting it up our driveway. All was done in time, but there was not much interest in the house initially.

 

We finally had a reasonable offer in October (we had a number of extremely low offers that the agent didn’t bother informing us of) just before we moved into the new house. The moving into the new house was an ordeal in itself (worthy of a long story), but in the end we had the renovations done, painting completed, and then moved in according to the timeline.

 

Agnes and I had decided that after we moved into the new place we would do another frozen egg transfer and see if it would work. Needless to say both embryos implanted as hoped they would and all is progressing well. We had a small scare in week 6 as Agnes experienced some slight bleeding, and of course I had to be in Emerald when it occurred. The next day we went to the gyno and had an ultrasound and discovered that there were two embryos, one with a slight heartbeat that was visible on the ultrasound! At week 8 we had the formal scan and discovered that both embryos had heartbeats and that one of the twins was hiding behind the other, making it difficult to determine size, etc.

 

The end of the year was a hive of activity with a house warming, continuing house work that we wanted to do (demolisation of the non-workable spa and deck, removal of palms around the pool, creation of a library in the rumpus room beside the garage, new lights, fans and aircon installed, etc). Agnes was tired a lot of the time due to the pregnancy and it was looking like we would be busy every weekend from the end of November (election weekend) through to Christmas with social activities. We decided to curtail some activities due to tiredness and concentrate on relaxing to have energy to survive the work week.

 

One of the things that I learnt with the moving of houses and renovations, is to do things as soon as I see them, instead of waiting forever to do them. Before we left Bundamba Agnes finished the skirting boards in the house, painted the doorframes, etc that still needed to be done. I had to do a fair bit of yard work in a short period of time, and resolved to never find myself in a similar situation in the future. I think that has been seen with the number of things done around the house since we moved in in October. Of course the proof will be in the pudding if I continue this into the new year and beyond.

I do not believe in new year’s resolutions, so I do not intend to make one, but I do intend to keep working on  things as soon as I can and be more proactive.

 

Health

One thing both Agnes and I wanted to do this year was get into shape and lose some weight. Agnes started this end 2006 by starting LA Weight Loss and changing our eating habits. Agnes lost 15 kgs in 6 months by the time LA Weight Loss went out of business. Since then she did not loss anymore weight, but nor did she regain the weight she lost. We increased our exercise by bushwalking each Sunday over a number of months. This involved hiking various walks around Ipswich. While none were more than a couple of kilometres, it was fun to get out, enjoy the fresh air and each other’s company. We also joined the gym at Redbank Plains. Agnes lasted about 2 – 3 months before she gave it up, but I continued for as long as I could, and still go to the gym when I can. While I did not lose any weight going to the gym, I did reduce my overall body fat, and gained muscle I have not had in a long time.

 

Debt

Another goal for this year was debt reduction, brought on by the around the world trip from 2006, and purchasing of computer equip, etc that was not 100% fully required. We succeeded in clearing our credit cards debt, and put a fair bit of money on the mortgage as well. Then of course there was the sale of our Bundamba house, and even with the purchasing of the new house and renovations we still had a nice surplus, which has been put onto the new mortgage to help bring that down a touch.

 

Work

I enjoy the work I do, more than I did with New Horizons. At the start of NH and in our heyday I enjoyed it, but I enjoy more the work I do now, and not just because I don’t train all the time. It is fulfilling to have the follow up and see how people are progressing with the process of time management and being able to help them with the knowledge and experience that I have.

I mainly work with Outlook and Project, so I have had to keep myself occupied with the other programs to make sure I don’t forget how to use them. But being the informal helpdesk when people have a problem helps keep the other skills in touch. Also with Softaware I have done a couple of Excel courses and I think that will increase in the new year.

 

I have also had the chance to help with process improvement at work, in the form of creating databases to aid with work. We had a major server and CMS upgrade in Oct/Nov and the Goldmine upgrade did not include any usable reporting functionality. So up I stood and found a solution using Access. It was fulfilling to put into practice things I had taught others without ever fully using myself. While it is a shame the other database will not be implemented in the new year, it was a good learning experience.

Secretly I am glad Bernadette decided to move on from Priority as I did not feel she fit in well. Unfortunately we need a new trainer, and until one is trained up it will mean increased travel, esp. with the shuffle of Priority management and the sudden acquisition of Melbourne.

 

So that was the year that was. What will happen in 2008? Really unsure. I will not be doing New year’s Resolutions as I don’t believe in them, but I am aiming on continuing with getting things done as I see them. I will be recommencing studies externally with one subject early next year, a break for second semester (busy with newborns, I don’t see how I will cope). Expecting twins mid next year, probably about the time of GenConOz.

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