Monday, December 22, 2008

Reflecting - 2008

As the year 2008 comes to and end paving way to another year full of hope and excitement, its time to look back and see how far I have come in fulfilling my ambitions and goals. Rather than focusing on the goals that I did not meet, I would like to start this post on a positive upbeat note and focus on the things that I have achieved so far:

Career Wise: This has been a very good year for me. I have landed a fulltime position in a very good company. I report to a manager who is attentive to my needs and has been helping me grow professionally. I have taken an Advanced Excel training session which is helping me get my work done faster. This training was long due on my resume. I work in a team that is laid back and yet delivers everything on time. The people in my team have kept me motivated through out to go after my goals.

Marriage: The year started off pretty rough between Mr. Scorpio and I. Things started changing slowly through the year. We had our up's and down's but both of us have taken deliberate actions to understand each other and make things work albeit the differences. I have realized that the only way to keep my relationship work is to keep it first. I thank god for giving me the wisdom I needed to get it back on track. In the beginning I was constantly complaining about my marriage not working but it suddenly hit me that I need to put effort to make something work. My husband and I can watch Joel Osteen’s episode without being judgmental about the whole religious thing since both of us are born Hindu’s and have different perspectives towards “other” religions. This is a big achievement for me. All is well now.

Personal/Spiritual Life: 2008, has been a remarkable year for this part of my life. I participated in the Susan G Komen- 2008 race for cure and raised $140. I completed my first 5k run which has been long due. I registered for MS-150 and bought a bike to train myself for the 180 mile ride. I have been going to the gym 4 days out a week and playing volley ball twice every week. I started taking Piano lessons in June and gave my first piano recital on Dec 6th. I was nervous during my performance but it was an awesome experience while it lasted.
Spiritually, it has been an exciting journey. I got involved heavily into Art of Living and experienced a new level of spiritual growth. I cannot say that I have found myself a good place to start this journey; however, it was not a bad place to start either.

Wealth Wise: I have done the best in this category. I am not debt-free but I realized how important it is to be so. I started putting a plan together to rid myself off debt as soon as I got back from India.

I was able to bring my CC balance to $9000. Started with 16000 this year.
I paid all my relatives and friends that helped me during my education. (Paid off $5000)
I put $1000 in my savings since June 2008.

I started tracking my financial journey through a blog and that has kept me motivated to get rid off my debt. I am on way to paying it down. 3 more months to go. As Joel Osteen says, “it has been raining on me” and I am thankful to God for making this a smooth journey.

Health and Happiness: Mr. Scorpio and I are doing well; again we would like to thank God for blessing us with good health. My parents are doing great and so are his. My father-in-law is coping well with his leg injury too. All my folks back home in India are doing great too. All in all, it’s been an outstanding year.

Vacations: My husband and I visited India for first time after our marriage in 2 and half years. I had an amazing time in India and cannot wait to make another trip. We had a family reunion in Virginia in August and it was so much fun. My husband and I are going off to Vegas the day after tomorrow. It’s going to be our first vacation together in a long time and yes we made it. Can’t wait to have fun. I got some nice stuff for my husband to wear. He rarely spends money on clothing these days. We had fun shopping together in a long time.

This post has left me feeling better than when I started writing. I did not know how much I progressed until I have put the pen to the paper. I just got out of a 30 min meeting with my manager who has filled my mind with good words of encouragement. It feels good to walk out of a meeting knowing that “I matter”. . All in all, it’s been an outstanding year for me and I hope to take 2009 up a notch.

So how did y’all do this year?

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Goals – Week 2 Check in.

The past two weeks have been a bit disappointing financially. I have spent some considerable amount of money on eating out and it was not just for myself, I paid for my colleagues as well. So here is how I did with my goals.

1.Loose 8 pounds. I am 148 right now, would like to bring it down to 140 lbs. Lost 4 pounds already so that’s a good start
2.No spending days on Tuesday and Thursday. I think I am doing ok here and sticking to the plan
3.No rice eating days – Monday and Friday. I have actually managed to take it 4 days out of a week.
4.Start a good book, yet to decide the pick. I haven’t looked for any book per se, but spotted a book from my husband’s collection named Magic of Thinking Big and started reading it
5.Try to go bike riding once in two weeks. No action taken

Coming to Credit Cards, I started out this month with an outstanding balance of $ 10419, I should have knocked off 1000 dollars off as planned but I have an outstanding balance of $10029 which is very disappointing. I am actually not sure where all that money went. I need to stay focused especially when I am so close to paying it down.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

An intensified WANT!!!!!!!

(This post is just a week late :)
I woke up this morning to what ended up being a very sorrowful Thanks Giving day. My husband told me about the attacks on Mumbai in our country, India. My mind cannot comprehend what could be going through these terrorists minds while they are mercilessly killing innocent people. All this chaos and mayhem for what? While a part of the world is mourning the deaths of the unfortunate people, the rest of us our are getting ready to be the first in line for what’s supposed to be the day for the mother of all deals- The BLACK FRIDAY. I tuned into CNN as usual to see what’s going on in the world around me and heard that a Wal-Mart employee has been killed while opening the doors in the early hours of the Friday morning to let the people in. People were so caught up in trying to be the first one to grab onto the “supposedly” best deal that they completely ignore that a person has fallen flat on the ground and is being stepped over by hundreds of people. How can people be so ignorant and how intensified is their want that they are trying to satisfy. Here is a picture that I took while walking adrift in the mall on Black Friday. BEBE had to close its store for sometime because it did not have enough people to handle the busy cash register and people made a huge line that went around the store and to the door. The store management had to close the doors for sometime before they could let anybody in. (Sorry, tried downloading pics from my blackberry, I guess I do not have the right software.. will leave the pics to your imagination.)

An action that is set to satisfy an intensified want will not result in satisfaction. Once a want is satisfied our mind will immediately come up with another one. I have experienced this first hand and I think all of you have to. I never wore watch for 7 years and I told myself the next time I will wear one is when I can afford an expensive one. My husband satisfied that want of mine last year when he got me a diamond studded Swiss Army watch. I loved to show it off, immediately within the next 2 days I had another want that I was looking to satisfy- Getting a Louis Vutton Bag for myself. Thanks to all the PF bloggers that kept me away from satisfying that want. I still want to own it but not now, when I really feel I can afford and will not feel guilty after buying it.

When I think of wants I get a picture of the Domino Effect, you knock off one and that leads to another and another and so on, it’s like an endless cycle that will not let us experience life as it is. Wants make us feel that we are not happy where we are. Though some might argue that WANTS propel us to go forward in life, I still believe that being able acknowledge wants and make rationalized decisions is what keeps us ahead in life.