A Look Back At 2008

Looking back  I’m amazed at how busy and full of changes was this year soon past. So let us take a walk down the path and see what last year held for me.

January, the start of a new year found me a year from my divorce from Tasha, working at Nichols Heating for $14/hour, and attending school 4-days a week to get a certificate in HVAC. I was no longer dating my first wife, Heidi, after a  short try at making it work a second time around, but alas, the issues were the same and it was over after Thanksgiving but unspoken and while I sent a Christmas gift it was obvious by then that we were done. My folks left for a return to Florida with the coming of the New Year, but not before letting me know that my plan to move out of their condo, where I lived with my sister, and be on my own was both unrealistic and fool hardy. They believed I should expect to stay where I was for 3-5 years to get my feet back under me. A pronouncement that made me both angry and fearful that they were right. I was also in a hot and heavy affair with a married lady, Gelleen, I’d met at work but who was no longer a co-worker.

February was the end of my affair with Gelleen. It didn’t end well, these things never do. But the month did herald the return of a romantic relationship with my second wife, Tasha. We’d been friends through the divorce and kept in touch. But it took a pre-reunion night out and a visit by Tammi and Ray to bring us back together in a circumstance that led to romance. Something I’d hoped for, but didn’t truly believe would occur. After all, the divorce wasn’t my idea. Tasha’s youngest daughter, Karin, turned 18 and became an adult… as she was oh so fond of pointing out to anyone who tried to tell her anything. And at the end of the month I graduated from Northwestern Technological Institute and was looking forward to a big raise or a change of employment and a future in the heating and cooling industry.

March found that despite presenting a salary plan and expressing my interest in staying at Nichols, no raise was forthcoming and my status there did not improve. Despite that down predicament, my relationship with Tasha was on the rise and life still looked good. I was optimistic that I would find another position in the heating and cooling industry with the coming of spring, the air conditioning season, and the inevitable hiring that came with that season.

April was the start of big things. A buddy from school pointed me toward a job offering with Jones Lang LaSalle in the property management/maintenance field. I submitted a resume and was happy to have them offer me a position in Grand Rapids, MI. The pay was ten dollars higher an hour than I was making and the idea of the move and a fresh start was appealing, I accepted the offer, put in my notice at Nichols, and was in an apartment in Grand Rapids by month’s end. My youngest, Zachary, turned 15… which makes me feel a bit old.

May would seem to have been a quiet month, but it was full of all the excitement that comes with a move, a new city, a new job, and all the accompanying chaos. Good chaos, but chaos none-the-less.

June brought with it the 18th birthday of my first born, Tyler, and his subsequent graduation from high school. A proud moment for any parent. This also made me feel old. How can I have an 18-year old son. Scary.

July came and my financial state was steadily improving, so much so that I was able to buy a new desktop computer. But there was bad news as well, Tasha was laid off from Chrysler. We knew it was coming and had discussed her moving in with me when it happened. Still it was rough on her. But she did move in here with me, bringing with her my dog and two cats. In a stroke of luck she found a job almost immediately, a short term contract with Alticor, but she was happy to have a job and not have to go on unemployment. And with such, a new life for us both.

August brought with it a reorganization of my department at work. I lost both my boss and my supervisor to this restructuring of our department into another pre-existing department. Along with new bosses, my list of properties jumped from 17 to 35 buildings. I toyed with the idea of buying a new car, but changed my mind after filling out some paperwork and this led to a couple weeks of dispute between myself and the car dealership. In the end I walked away from the deal, but kept a lot of ill feelings towards the FOX brand of dealerships. Tasha and I met my folks in Lansing for the first time as a couple since our divorce. It was mildly awkward and nerve-wracking, but we made it through the experience and had a nice lunch with my folks. I turned 40. For my birthday, Tasha bought me the video game “City of Heroes” and I got hooked on the whole mmorpg thing. I had thought to get ronnmccarrick.com back this month as well, but while the hold on it expired, it never actually became available for purchase.

September brought with it another change at work. The Mobile Engineering Services techs became members of the union, Operating Engineers Local 547. Which I’ve as yet been able to find a downside. The highlights are a nearly $5 raise and full paid benefits. My good job became a great job.

October came with new furniture, a couch and chair for our living room, and electronics, a giant 26″ monitor for my new computer. We also took off on a visit to Tammi and Ray in Bellaire, MI. So things must be going well between Tasha and I, after all, we’re taking vacations and buying furniture together.

November gave to us a new king-size mattress, for all that romantic rolling around, and I was finally able to get ronnmccarrick.com back. The blog would follow shortly. We had Tasha’s family over for Thanksgiving and it went well despite the coziness of our little two-bedroom apartment. And to top the month off Tasha’s daughter, Kirra, turned 20 and we gave her Tasha’s car as a birthday gift. We really have no need of two cars at this point.

December and with it the end of the year, but not before I paid off my car (2-months early even after a 3-month extension on the loan during the divorce). Tasha got an extension until April from Alticor which eases the worry of her becoming jobless in January. And in order to give us something to do and an opportunity to meet some new people we joined the Michigan Athletic Center, we might even lose some weight… which would be a bonus. We celebrated Christmas with both our families and the year came to an end.

A very busy year. But a year that has been very good to me.