Let's See What's Around the CornerI’m in an odd mood today. Last night, on New Year’s Eve, I was filled with hope and good intent. I expected to wake up this morning feeling the same way. But when I sat up on the side of the bed, that familiar sense of panic was right there in my chest. I can’t tell you why, really. All I know is that the first day of 2016 didn’t start out like I hoped.

It’ll get better as the day goes on. I do feel like we’re headed in the right direction. 2015 was a pretty bad year, though, and we’re looking forward to just moving on. My step-daughters lost their father. One step-daughter’s boyfriend lost his father. My wife lost one of her dearest friends. We lost one of our dear cats. A lot of loss this year.

But there were good points, too. We were privileged to host the daughter of that aforementioned lost friend, and her husband, while they were in Florida adopting a newborn baby girl. Our own granddaughter became a year old this year, is just learning to walk, and has brought such joy into our lives.

I finally got my GED in 2015; something I’d wanted to do for a very long time. Yesterday I got the voucher for my last Microsoft certification exam (for Access). Finishing up that last certification (I already have the certifications for Word and Excel) will end a journey which took much longer than I expected. It’ll let me start putting in resumes which have actually have something useful on them. That has to be a good thing. In two weeks I start taking my first classes at Saint Petersburg College, which is the beginning of a terrifying journey which might see me come out on the other side as a computer programmer. So… there are things to look forward to.

The biggest issue is getting a job, though. That was the point of getting my GED to begin with. I only wound up going for the Microsoft Office certifications because my job counselor suggested I could make $5-6 more an hour with those. Honestly, though, if I’d known it would take as long as it did, I might’ve reconsidered. Part of me still ponders that if I have gotten back into a big truck over a year ago when I had the chance, 2015 would have been a very different year for us. We wouldn’t have struggled. We wouldn’t have been on SNAP. I wouldn’t have had to beg my brother-in-law for work the whole year.

All that’s in the past now. There’s some painting left to do at the brother-in-law’s. There’s one last certification exam. But the last few tendrils of 2015 are already slipping behind us. I’m cautious from past experience, but overall I’m easing into a new year with a sense of hope and determination. This has nothing to do with New Year’s resolutions. This is stuff I’d decided long before New Year’s. Now that New Year’s is out of the way, I can get on with it. Let’s see what’s around the corner.

I guess there’s no real point to this. It’s the first day of a new year, and I felt obligated to write something.