Recapping 2014

Life is a journey, not a destination.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate New Year’s the holiday but love New Year’s the event. I’m a conservative teetotaler introvert, so the idea of going out kissing and drinking with strangers until the wee early hours of the morning is off putting. But I revel in the opportunity to take stock in what’s happened in the previous year, reflect on what I learned, and shift the focus to how to improve in the coming year.

So where did the journey that was 2014 lead me?

  • Started the year with Fall Out Boy on Dick Clark at midnight and football all day
  • Clemson beat Ohio State in the Orange Bowl 40-35
  • I quit liking a girl in SC
  • Gary (of the #WorkplaceGary fame) started at work
  • I canceled my cable subscription
  • It snowed and we missed three days of work
  • I went on a date to a British pub
  • Bought an Xbox One
  • I went on a second date to a hamburger joint
  • I received a big raise. Like 20% big.
  • Andrew put in his notice at work and moved to Colorado
  • Bridge Run #8 (7th consecutive)
  • Jenny put in her notice at work
  • I chopped off all of my long hair
  • Miss Second Date up and disappeared
  • My cousin took his life – completely unexpected by the entire family
  • Tyler put in his notice at work
  • New Assistant Vice President was hired at work
  • Applied to transferred departments at work
  • Took my nephew to Clemson for the first time with my brother
  • I went on a date to an NC state park and was told I give off “just friend” vibes
  • Took a day off of work to stay at home and watch E3 press conferences
  • Transferred departments at work
  • Helped build a Habitat for Humanity house with a group of coworkers
  • Invited to the Lunch Roulette group at work each week
  • Watched the World Cup
  • Wore a collared shirt to a date with a girl who wore jean shorts
  • I made it two years at work
  • Denarian started at work
  • Saw Fall Out Boy and Paramore (for the first time) in Raleigh with my cousin
  • Saw Fall Out Boy and Paramore (for the second time) in Charlotte by myself
  • New AVP was fired at work
  • Started liking a girl at work
  • Went camping in Pisgah with my brother, sister in law, and nephew
  • I went to the the Georgia/Clemson game last minute with my brother
  • Tierra from work got married
  • My nephew turned one
  • Hated work
  • Liked the girl from work more
  • Formed a regular trivia group with coworkers and won our second time out!
  • Received an offer to work for the city of Charlotte and put in my two weeks
  • Changed my mind and transferred back to my original group
  • My nephew and brother were baptized
  • I turned 32
  • Helped the girl at work move
  • The girl at work invited me to her place for Thanksgiving with her family
  • Clemson. Finally. Beat. South. Carolina.
  • The girl at work invited me to a small work Christmas party with her
  • Gary (of the #WorkplaceGary fame) put in his notice and is moving to Chicago
  • Started @WorkplaceGary
  • Told the girl at work I liked her and got “I value our friendship” back
  • Gave up on the girl at work
  • Made an annual trip to Riverbanks Zoo for animal therapy and a mental health day
  • Matt put in his notice at work
  • Spent 4 hours in the kitchen baking with my mom and Spotify
  • Enjoyed the kitchen hang out more than most of Christmas
  • Clemson DESTROYED Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl 40-6
  • Gary (of the #WorkplaceGary fame) was told he wasn’t needed, packed up, and left
  • I’ll ring in the new year in Charlotte again with Harper in front of some football

Before we close out the year and move on to 2015, let’s see how those 2014 New Years Resolutions wrapped up?

  • 15 Books:
    • 4Q projection – 15
    • 4Q actual – 12
    • Ouch. My reading resolution is usually my go-to, surefire resolution to pad the stats for the rest of my list. It’s not for a lack of material, as I’ve got an entire shelf in my bookcase full of books I haven’t read. Unfortunately, I just never settled into a good reading rhythm this quarter or year. The only book I finished up this quarter was my mom’s (C Hope Clark) second 2014 book and the first in her new series: Murder on Edisto. My favorite book for 2014 was a toss up between Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.
  • 12 Parks:
    • 4Q projection – 12
    • 4Q actual – 13
    • The 4th quarter saw me hit four state parks to cross this resolution off the list. I made it to Lee State Park and Goodale State Park one Sunday in October. Then I visited Oconee State Park and Oconee Station State Historic Site at the beginning of November when I was in Clemson for the weekend. My favorite of the bunch was probably Oconee since Harper and I had a chance to take a good five mile hike up to Hidden Falls. My favorite park for the year still has to be Jones Gap State Park and the hike up to Rainbow Falls.
  • 12 Races:
    • 4Q projection – 12
    • 4Q actual – 8
    • Even though I fell short on this one, I at least made a step in the right direction. I ran my third consecutive Charlotte Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving. Then I signed up last minute for the ACC Fan 5K here in Charlotte the morning of the ACC Championship Game. My intent was to take a shot at getting 10 races by running the We Believe 5K Trail Run at the Whitewater Center and the Cold Winter’s Day 5K in Columbia after Christmas. But I got sick between the ACC 5k and the Santa one. So not only did I miss out on a race, I got too far behind in regularly running to make an attempt at the Columbia race. My fastest race this year was the Turkey Trot at 29:47.
  • 10,000 Dollars:
    • 4Q projection – $10,000
    • 4Q actual – $12,729.71
    • Even with the bump in expenses from the Christmas rush, I killed my savings goal this year. I’m only counting the increase in my savings account, not any contributions to my work 401(k) or my separate Roth IRA. I actually moved $2,500 into my Roth earlier in the year to buy a new mutual fund. So that would push me over the $15,000 saved milestone. I’m really proud of this one.
  • 8 Months:
    • 4Q projection – 8
    • 4Q actual – 12
    • Let’s fudge the numbers a bit. I won’t actually hit a full year without cable until 01/09/2015 but I have no plans on signing up soon, so I’m rounding up. I still catch the occasional show on the networks over the air (Agents of Shield, New Girl). And I’ve bought a season pass to Gold Rush through Xbox Live. But the biggest help was my brother lending me his Watch ESPN info so I can catch my college football fix. When someone figures out how to monetize sports outside of the cable structure, they’ll be really-rich-ionaires!
  • 2 Projects:
    • 4Q projection – 2
    • 4Q actual – 0
    • Move along folks. Nothing to see here. I’m just going to pretend I didn’t set this goal. All year, I did nothing even closely resembling making an effort at starting this. The closest I came was that I stumbled onto a new photo-book website that my mom had emailed me. No pictures. No outline. No story. Just… nothing. 2015 is the 5 year anniversary of my trip though, so I may roll this into next year.

So I was about as successful this year as I was in 2013 – three resolutions reached and three resolutions that came up short. Could I have done more? Sure. But I’m happy with where I wound up. I think it’s good to have aggressive goals you may not hit. It gives you motivation and room to grow.

How did your resolutions treat you? I hope you were able to accomplish some of your goals!

And with that, I bid adieu to 2014. Thank you for following along through another year! Wherever you are, I hope you enjoy the New Year and that 2015 brings the best to you. Be safe, kids!

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3 Responses to Recapping 2014

  1. Joni Brown says:

    I’m sure your mom is so proud of you. I read your site a lot but do not usually comment. I suffer from treatment resistant depression and sometimes can’t even make my fingers type on the laptop…I just read. You sound a lot like my son who is 35. He is no drinker and an introvert. He moved to California and has camped at tons of parks out west. He thought he would never find a relationship but recently has, however he says it is not easy. I agree.

    You have given me the “get up an go” to make some exact resolutions like you did. I always think about what I want to do better but never get around to writing them down. I am a fan of your mom; which is how I found you.

    You are a great example for one of the senior set….keep up the good work.

    God bless,
    Joni Brown

    • Go for it, Joni! My white board with my list of resolutions and their progress stays next to my desk all year long so I’ve constantly got an eye on where I stand.

      Good luck on your goals and have a happy New Year!

  2. hopeclark says:

    I agree that baking in the kitchen was awesome. That’s more what Christmas is about instead of the gift slinging. Sorry about the girl(s). It’ll happen or it won’t, but you just have to put yourself out there enough to run into them. But in the end, you define yourself, with or without a partner. And you’re a good kid.

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