Thursday, January 1, 2015

Another Year -- And It's Going to be a Good One!

Another year is past.  Welcome to 2015!  When I wrote those words a few minutes after Midnight in a Facebook post, I followed them with, "Sounds like the title of a science fiction movie...."  If you are my age or older, you will understand.

I can recall as a much younger person wondering if I would see the new century.  In 1978, I would have been 20 years old.  The new century was farther away than the number of years I had already lived at that time.  I think when I was that age I expected to go out in a "fiery crash" before I was 39.

As we age, we become wiser.  Most of it is by default -- "the fault" of mistakes made and lived through such as touching a hot stove and realizing you didn't want to do that again! 

As I think about this past year I don't see many of those mistakes.  Other than the first couple of months, it was almost a Sabbatical Year for me.  I left my job in March and since that time I have been self-employed.  Perhaps semi-self-employed is a better description.  I have spent some time writing and taught myself to paint with watercolor.  I have done some consulting work (and actually got paid for it!).  I spent a lot of time in our cow/calf operation and in November we sold it along with the land.  In December we bought another small "ranch" and I have started spending some time getting it ready to receive cattle.

The pace was reasonably slow and I had a break from the seemingly constant travel of many years.  Now, I am going back into the world of the fully employed -- maybe even over-employed!  We are in the process of starting up a stocker calf operation on our land and I just took a full-time job at the bank which I start on Monday.  I also have agreed to do a regular magazine article for a trade publication -- CALF News.  (Click here to see the last article I wrote for them on pages 26-27.)

In many ways, this has been the pattern of my life through the years.  It seems that God has built a few "breaks" into my career that were perfectly timed which prepared me for the next phase of His plan for me.  I am grateful.  I don't do well with too much idle time on my hands, but I also tend to push pretty hard when I have plenty to do.  So, I wear myself out and then need a break. 

The world seems to work that way.  I believe it was Designed that way.  Spring is a time of growing and blooming which quickly turns to Summer when the fruits of our labor begin to ripen in preparation for Fall harvest which fades to a Winter of rest.  The Bible tells us to do our labor in six days and rest on the seventh -- just as God did in the Creation.  Our lives are lived in much the same way.  I have been fortunate in being able to do much the same through several different careers.

Now, I am coming full circle.  Other than spending a little over a year "extending my education" through my first job working for a politician, I have returned to my first true career -- banking.  I am going to be a loan officer again.  I spent almost 7 years lending money many years ago.  That was before I had any real business experience.  Now, I will look at the ideas and dreams that people bring to me through the eyes of someone who has been there.  I am looking forward to helping them realize those dreams.

I think 2015 is going to be a very good year.  I'm not too excited with what is going on in Washington these days, but people will figure out a way to overcome the barriers that the political leeches seek to place in the way of their success.  I still believe, after all these years, in the American Dream and the can-do spirit that permeates rural America.  I am looking forward to using what I have learned through the years in a new way.  Yep, it's going to be a good year.  I have decided.

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