Saturday, January 11, 2014

Active Weekend

I just finished my last year’s evaluation and so far it is positive, a welcome relief considering my anxiety of not shaping up, bewildered at times on what to do next. But it looks easy come to think of it; life is not really as bad a one would think, with fears affecting one’s actions when it should not be; one just needs to show up. I also met my customers in our monthly meeting this morning, going through my presentation with ease though still not as comfortable as I would like to be, realizing that I have all the tools I need; one should stay grounded and grasp the spiraling mind and wrestle the monkey back to earth. Sometimes one is too paranoid or afraid of what other people might think that one swirls into doubt and worry but it is really a friendly world when one is sincere. The week is turning out well, after a Wednesday club meeting with Toastmaster and after going over my to-do list for the week. But the weekend will be busy as I need to attend (remotely) an area governor’s meeting, install curtains and go to the gym which I have neglected to do this week. I also have a lot of books and magazines to read and videos to watch.

Yesterday I looked through my modest investment and Roth IRA, using the latest tools from my broker and realized that I have not done too bad although a very modest amount, beating the S&P in two of the past four years including the cumulative total, thinking that one has some talent and not random as some writers like Nassim Taleb would argue. In fact it’s been a busy four years since one arrived, acting like a crazed carpetbagger, eager to exploit the situation once on the ground, investing modestly in real estate and stocks, taking advantages of low interest rates and the depressed property market, a result of the 2008 – 09 financial turmoil. One was reading books and attending seminars like a madman, trying to get up to speed by improving one’s financial literacy in the USA and make use of the limited period inside a rare window of opportunity. With Bernanke leaving and plans to taper off the Fed’s quantitative easing, the window is closing and one wished one had more capital to invest. Nevertheless, it was a modest achievement, to exploit what one has with the cards dealt, adapting to the situation like a guerilla, a philosophy that works in the office as well.

For some reason, I saw my life flash before me as I lay in bed, unable to sleep because of my early meeting at 8:15 am, needing to come to the office by 7 am to prepare my presentation. I have gone far from my early life, both in physical miles and the projects and skills that I have accumulated, realizing that I have tread a long diverse road; the past 4 years another varied experience, finally ending up as the maintenance support manager with a track record as support and functional analyst and, now, project manager, diving deep into the local milieu of working with customers and solving problems. The past year has been an eye opener especially since my friend’s heart attack, working closely with him to help, learning in a rush about medical insurance and bankruptcy; similar to arriving here four years ago, up and running, engaged in difficult supply chain and logistics projects upon hitting the ground, getting my feet dirty so to speak. One also realizes his limitations, biting off more than one can chew by being area governor while accepting a new role at work, faced with unrelenting stress and demands on time and effort, learning that to-do list, focus and small steps matters most, not the flashy ground breaking large assignment that brilliant people aspire too.

I guess I like where I am today, realizing that one should not be complacent, striving to stretch more and expand, arriving at a pleasant destination after years of movement. It is not an easy place; one still needs to be on his toes, expanding beyond one’s comfort zones, realizing that perhaps it is the end game, where one has the elements in place to play out the last chapter. The young man is gone, together with his childish dreams and romantic notions, replaced by an aging fellow, no long nimble, with creaking bones and unwelcome heft, still mentally alert with a young heart, but body and mind realizing that the youthful vigor is in its last legs. What to do but adjust the machinery to its current capacity, perhaps allowing one to strike where one is strong; tactics and mental strategy, words and subtle actions while conceding the ground on one’s physical capacity, playing smart by supplementing one’s ability with vitamins and technology, keeping current and playing to strengths. But others are aging too; the world still belongs to the wise and crafty, not the young and agile, therefore it is the tortoise that eventually wins the race and not the rabbit.

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