2016: Year End Surveys (Annus Horribilis) in BookThree: Flight Log 2016

  • Dec. 27, 2016, 5:32 p.m.
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2016: The year almost everyone I know said alt text

  1. What was your biggest life lesson this year and what did you learn?
    I learned, and am still learning, a great deal about myself as a person. I’m learning that I would rather dig a hole every morning and fill it up every evening if the pay were good and my family were happy. Conversely, I learned that I am unwilling to do something I’ve always wanted; if the situation is horrible and my family is miserable.

  2. What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?
    Surviving. It seems a touch melodramatic… but I can not impress upon you how severe a culture shock it is to go from a life surrounded by traffic and people… and to suddenly not have any of that. It is like playing a game of baseball for 7 innings; but after the 7 inning stretch, you realize you have to finish the game with no teammates.

  3. What is your biggest disappointment or regret this year?
    That I chose money over my gut. When I interviewed for Up North County, I knew Wife would hate it. I knew I’d be miserable. But I told myself, “We don’t go out much as it is. And with a good paycheck, essentially being cut off from everything won’t impact us as much.” How wrong I was!

  4. Which significant relationship improved the most?
    Up to a few weeks ago, I’d say my relationship with my wife. But her depression about this place has made her already difficult penchant for self-obsession so much worse. She can no longer say “I love you” because she is having trouble feeling anything positive. She has put (again) a complete moratorium on all sexual activity. So… all of the positive steps made by surviving this place together have now been erased.

  5. Which significant relationship did you neglect the most?
    My friends. Oh, seriously my friends. Luckily, the Internet and jovial patience have been helpful but seriously… when I’m in a tight spot, I do 2 contrary things. I beg nearby friends for help; and ignore any friends that aren’t nearby. As though I were circling wagons. This has been significantly problematic in 2016 as there are no nearby friends. Thus… I seem almost schizophrenic… gloming to friends when I see them but almost going out of my way not to interact with them online (see: PS4 Gaming)

  6. How did you grow emotionally this year?
    This was an emotional year. I went from apprehensive but hopeful about a new job.... to miserable but hopeful about living 3 hours away from my wife… to miserable but hardworking when it came to the job… to devastatingly miserable and confused here at the end of the year.

  7. What do you wish you had done more of this past year?
    Technically; there are about 10 things. Item I: Worked. Item II: Learned the job. Item III: Visited friends in Des Moines and Independence. Item IV: Read for leisure. Item V: Gone to Cinema Movies. Item VI: I wish I had done more interviews for new jobs. Item VII: I wish I had taken Wife on more dates and tried to make her feel better. Item VIII: I wish I had gone to more plays and symphonies… sod the extensive driving, reconnecting with ME is worth it. Item IX: I wish I’d had more sex with my wife. Item X: I wish I’d gotten my wife to learn more about me and care more about me as an individual person with independent thoughts and feelings.

  8. What do you wish you had done less of this past year?
    Struggled. Cried. Fought against and for a system that has a very poor view of justice but a very favorable view of using the law to keep poor people impoverished.

  9. What was the smartest decision you made this year?
    Reaching out to friends and other attorneys to try to figure out if this place is as bad as it seems and whether I should flee the profession or just the location.

  10. What are you most grateful for this past year?
    My old law school partner who even from 3 hours away, makes sure I know he cares.
    My parents. We may fight and argue, but nobody has ever felt more loved than I do when I’m with them.
    MBFITWW. We’re 5 years apart in age and grew up in completely different lifestyles but I don’t ever want to be in a position where I couldn’t just call him to talk.
    My Wife. Things suck… in many ways… but I can say with certainty… that if I’d had to move here and survive all on my own? I would have made some pretty significant bad decisions thereby being in prison, dead, or suffering from some form of psychological trauma.

  11. How did you manage your stress levels this year?
    Poorly. It could have been worse and in my life it has been worse… but I should have been taking much larger steps to manage things for myself and my Wife.

  12. What was your best financial decision this year?
    Paying off law school debt. Our Bank Accounts are fat and healthy… but I’m still not sure how “fat” I am comfortable with in terms of “Going to a 1 Income, Walmart Subsistence lifestyle”. Ultimately… how much money is “enough” in the bank to be without a job?

  13. What was your worst financial decision this year?
    Losing the last bit of control or awareness I still had over the banking. Wife is good at keeping up with our accounting and she likes doing it… but I do admit that trusting her implicitly with all finances worries me a bit.

  14. What is one miracle you experienced this year?
    Perhaps macabre, but I actually think Pappy’s death was miraculous in its way. He didn’t have years where his mind failed entirely. He didn’t have terrible pains and needless surgeries. He simply… had a few weeks where his body shut down and his family and friends said goodbye.

  15. What was the greatest, kindest service you performed this year?
    Call it an asshole move to say this but there is value here… a repeat public intox woman came through my court on a criminal matter. I’d heard the town rumors… chick was a terrible mother, constantly drunk, screaming things all the time. Instead of slamming her with fines and an uncompromising spirit (as had the previous ACA), I told her we’d put her in In-Patient Treatment and then do check ups during After Care. She successfully completed both. When we terminated her Obligations to the State; I gave her a copy of her arrest video. She and her mother watched it, both of them crying. And I asked them to watch it again… whenever she feels like “a glass of wine is okay tonight” or when she thinks “my day was too stressful to stay sober.” The woman on that recording is not the woman that finished treatment. And the woman that finished treatment expressed concern that the woman on the recording had been raising her kids. I don’t know if next year, she’ll slip and we’ll do this all over again. But… it can be VERY helpful seeing the monsters we can become.

  16. What unfinished business do you have from this year?
    So much that were I to die now my Ghost would file for overtime. I need to lose weight, I need to get some minor therapy, I need to get a better job in a much better community, I need to spend more time with friends and more time figuring out if I can make this marriage work.

  17. What held you back this past year?
    It is funny. I read some Late December 2015/Early January 2016 articles recently. What held me back was… the overwhelming desire to get a job (any job). I didn’t care where it was or what it was… I just wanted a job so I could feel like Law School hadn’t been a waste. Funny thing is… I come to Tiny Town and realize that NOT all jobs (or communities) are made equally. But realize from it that… whether I am ever a successful (or even skilled) attorney, Law School wasn’t a waste.

  18. How did you spend your weekends this past year?
    Before Wife moved in late May; my weekends were spent driving 3 hours to Omaha to spend a single day with my wife then driving 3 hours back. Then when Wife moved down, I spent weekends mowing lawns and doing laundry, cooking a bit and playing video games. Then, when I realized Wife moving down wasn’t enough social stimulation; I started going to Omaha or Independence or Des Moines again.

  19. What do you want to stop doing in 2017?
    I want to stop being isolated and lonely. I want to be able to get a group of people together that is large enough to play Cards Against Humanity with me. I want to stop working in an environment that stifles me and makes me spend 8 hours doing a 2 hour assignment.

  20. If you had to describe your 2016 in 3 words, what would they be?

  21. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
    My honor bound sense of duty that prevents me from giving up or submitting to failure

  22. What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
    I would say two. First, actually being hired as an attorney somewhere. Oh sure, it is a piss poor little area choking on corruption and I was the only applicant… but I got hired somewhere. Second, realizing that I needed to look elsewhere. Yes, actually being hired on as an attorney is nice… but knowing this particular job and location isn’t for me is also important.

  23. What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
    It was a double edged sword. The internet brought me people, friends, communication, help in learning my job, and the ability to shop without driving 4 hours round trip. But the internet also brought me fake news, Brexit, and Donald Trump’s vile rise to the top.

  24. What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
    Depressed, anxious, angry.

  25. Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
    Filed a trial information, minutes of testimony, responded to an official discovery request, created a plea deal by myself

  26. What experience would you love to do all over again?
    From this year… almost nothing. If anything it would have to be Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha with my Wife.

  27. What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
    It was a non-purchase actually. Deciding to RENT a house instead of PURCHASE turned out to be an incredibly wise decision.

  28. What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
    Allowing for the realization that I wasn’t technically obligated to give Up North a certain number of years.

  29. What did you think about more than anything else?
    Originally, I spent the first half of the year thinking how the hell do I do this job? What the fuck is that old bat thinking not giving me any assistance or even an introduction to how things work? The second half of the year was a lot of Okay, I can apply to these three jobs. Now get me out of here!

  30. What advice would you give your early-2016 self if you could?
    Let’s imagine this is January 2nd, 2016. I’d schedule a lunch meeting with Early 2016 Self in the Downtown Omaha China Restaurant I used to visit often. And I’d say, “I know you tend to learn things the hard way. So you may not listen to this advice and that is entirely your choice. But there are a few things you need to start doing immediately. First, go to the Alamo all the time. You’ll love it, Wife will love it, it is one of the four best places in Omaha. Second, go to Beercade a few times. It may be a bit expensive, but it is a great Arcade Date and you and Wife will enjoy yourselves immensely. Third, start doing everything possible to network down in Des Moines. Offer to take attorneys out for lunch, babysit their kids, whatever you gotta do to start making connections in Des Moines. Last, do NOT take the job in any county that has less than 20,000 people. I don’t care how much you think you need the money or experience. DO NOT TAKE A JOB in a small county thinking that you’ll be fine!”

  31. Did any parts of yourself or your life do a complete 180 this year?
    Significantly. Honestly, I used to get crowd-anxiety. In West Des Moines, I go to a church where the congregation at Christmas and Easter is easily 10,000 people or so. I used to FREAK OUT. I don’t do that now. I attended the Christmas service and was just so thrilled to see so many people, such a diverse crowd, coming together for one purpose. This experience of living in No Man’s Land has sincerely made me appreciate the crowds and swarms of people.

  32. Did you keep your New Year;s resolutions and will you make more for next year?
    I did not slay nearly as many dragons as I wanted to. Perhaps next year I will build something… pillars that I wish to construct. Take the imagery to a more positive path perhaps.

  33. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Yes in fact. One of my few remaining dear friends from High School gave birth to a baby boy this year.

  34. Did anyone close to you die?
    Not referencing celebrity deaths; yes. My last remaining grandparent died in May.

  35. What countries did you visit?
    I never left the country. Hell, I barely left the state considering my only out of state movement was from Iowa to Omaha, NE.

  36. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
    A job that paid me and taught me that happened to be in a community Wife could tolerate

  37. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    Specific dates don’t stay with me as well anymore but some dates I will remember: April 4 (first day on the clock at work); October 14 (incoming applications were due for CA and I had hope we’d get a good one)

  38. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    No. No serious maladies. A strange occurrence for one who was once so very ill; but I suppose proper pain management has purchased me a great deal of health

  39. What song(s) will always remind you of 2016?
    Careless Whisper- WHAM

  40. Compared to this time last year (2015), are you:
    i. Happier or sadder? Neutral. At this time last year, I was worried about my marriage and my job prospects and I’m still in that state of mind.
    ii. Thinner or fatter? Likely fatter, unfortunately. In Omaha, we had considerably more access to indoor facilities for working out.
    iii. Richer or poorer? Honestly… richer. Debt is gone; I’ve been bringing in a decent income; our rent is cheaper

  41. How did you spend Christmas?
    In my parents’ house with parents, wife, brother, Sister in Law, and Niece.

  42. What did you get for Christmas this year?
    Seriously… it was almost entirely books.

  43. What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in 2016?
    Nothing yet. Embarrassment comes from a place of pride and this place has removed my pride.

  44. Did you fall in love in 2016?
    Not at all.

  45. How many one night stands?
    I’ve not had sex with anyone other than my wife and I significantly doubt she and I had sex more than 10 times this year.

  46. What was your favourite TV programme?
    Rick and Morty

  47. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
    Professional Apathy. I was once a well dressed dapper young man; but when I realized that not wearing jeans was considered dressed up, I just lost the will to care.

  48. What kept you sane?
    Prosebox. Facebook (in its way). Parents. Old Law School Partner. MBFITWW. Wife, for the most part.

  49. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    Oh yes. Last year, I hated only one person because he was corrupt and sliding government funds into his own pocket while hindering the pursuits of justice. I moved away from that place. And fell into a world that operates largely on people being corrupt and sliding government funds into their own pockets while hindering the pursuit of justice. So… yeah. Those kinds of people, I tend to hate. And I now know many more of them.

  50. What was the best book you read in 2016?
    Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

  51. What was your greatest musical discovery?

  52. What were your favourite films of this year?
    Deadpool was decent. Didn’t see too many more films, really, after leaving Omaha.

  53. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
    I turned 32. I worked and had pizza by myself. Because it was in May when Wife was still in Omaha.

  54. What three things would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Better and more adventurous relationship with my wife; A law mentor; a job in a functioning part of the state

  55. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Didn’t spend much time in contemplation of that. I’d say new additions to the usual (Raylene, Liz Vicious, Ashleigh Doll, etc) would be Jenna Hoskins, Chloe Kane, Hailey Coppin, and a few others.

  56. Who did you miss?
    Pretty much all of my friends. If I were in Des Moines, I could call up somewhere around 20 people to hang out. Here, I can’t even call up two.

  57. Which PBers did you meet for the first time?
    Haven’t done that yet. Not sure when I will; but I can say for certain that there are a few I would love to meet up with and hang out.

  58. What is a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016?
    It is possible to make no mistakes, and still lose. Therefore, it is not enough to follow a path or behave as you think appropriate… you must also make sure that, if you fail or if you succeed, you are still in a place you would like to be.

woman in the moon December 27, 2016

Long ass survey.

I might give it a try.

Tell you what though, I wish you a better year next year.

Always Laughing December 29, 2016

I sincerely wish you a much better 2017.

Deleted user December 31, 2016

Interesting !

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