Thursday, January 01, 2015

My Continuing Pursuit Of Happiness 2014

With all the problems in the world, with the media spinning everything in the wrong direction, with a bloated government out of control, with everything negative that comes our way my optimistic nature continues to prevail. The past year was no different. It was the little things in life that made me happiest.

2014 began with me leaving a fun hobby job with the world's foremost outfitter for a nearby small retail sporting goods operation where I am manager of a small hunting, fishing and firearms department. After a long and successful career prevailing in the shark tank of corporate urchins I'm now in full control of my life and love going to work each and every day again.

Never has it been in my DNA to have a career or work in a place or at a job that I did not enjoy 110%. Now I work more for fun and to stay active than to support a family while navigating conference rooms, speaking in corporate rhymes, riddles, metaphorical cliches, consultant buzzwords and traveling. Another reason I took this job is to pay for my healthcare insurance and that saves me at least $500 per month. I would do it for that reason alone if not for one more - the people - and this makes me happy.

My goal at work is to build relationships with customers. We share common interests. I treat them all as friends. We talk hunting and fishing and firearms. I learn a lot from them and others I help with what I know. Most of my customers  turn into repeat business and this greatly pleases they guy who hired me and trusted me with this awesome responsibility. Some of my customers now come in just to visit, jawbone and spend some time. My little department now carries the entire store and generates the most revenue, more than the other departments combined : ) In ten months we sold over 400 firearms to fellow law abiding citizens, hunters and sportsmen. This made me happy.

Very late last year my son and his wife rewarded us with our first grandchild. We don't get to see her a lot and each time we do we marvel at her growth. This past Christmas we got to know her well and it is a miracle that God has blessed us once again after raising two of our own that have gone off and are independent self-driven members of working society. He works for a big bank in Indianapolis and she works as a graphic designer in Chicago. This made me happy.

Last winter was the worst we have ever seen. I removed snow from the driveway more than I mowed lawn the summer before and damn was it cold! To keep myself occupied I found a new hobby to keep me warm and distracted during the dark period - homeloading my own ammunition. Over the past year I have spent time picking up once fired brass whenever I could and now have many thousands of empty cases ready to be given a second life. No longer will I be at the mercy of the market availability and high prices and I'm saving the planet by recycling brass to boot. Today I will spend time punching out primers, cleaning primer pockets and tumbling the spent brass while watching college football out in the garage. This made me happy.

When the water thawed we went back to Canada for our annual remote fishing trip to a foreign land. Fishing wasn't great (no really big fish) this year but it was good enough for catching and eating as many walleye as we wanted in the cabin for dinner and brought our legal limit home to share. We miss having dad along and he misses coming along even more but age does not permit him making long trip. But we have the memories of the past and he is always in the boat with us in spirit. This make me happy.

It seemed as if summer never arrived on 2014. It was wet and mild. My lawn never looked better. I grilled out almost each and every night and developed new methods of grilling for one, not an easy task as it would seem. This made me happy.

In September my sister got married for the first time at age 51 and hell did not freeze over - that already happened last January. It was a splendid event taking place in St.Joe Michigan and held on the waterfront next to the beach. I discovered what a nice place St.Joe Michigan really is. Many attended and I must say it was one of the most enjoyable weddings I have ever been to. That made me happy but probably not as happy as my parents were.

Our two annual blog meets came and went. Getting together with Carl and Dan to watch the Chicago Bears lose another early season stinker to Green Bay was overshadowed by our good time and fellowship at the parking lot pre-game tailgate. This was the only time I would venture west over the Illinois border and into Chicago for the year and it was well worth the trip being with the guys. It's an annual event I look forward to very much. This made me happy.

Gunstock happened one week later. The annual celebration of peace, love and The Second Amendment was met with a chilly windy late fall morning that finally settled down. I counted two dozen attendees having a safe bang up time. Thank God for ear protection. Dan and Carl made the long trip all the way down to our Indiana farm for some quality trigger time and they brought some along friends too. This year I strategically placed some tarps at the firing line to catch all the spent brass. This made me happy.

I got my deer this year. OK, so it wasn't a trophy buck and I only took one but it did fill my freezer with tasty wild game protein. The best part is I shot it with my new crossbow. All went as planned placing one ladder stand in a new location due to some diligent scouting and trail cam data. She hopped out of the woods about 100 yards away into the open alfalfa field and slowly followed my scent drag to within fifty yards before busting me. Confident in my new Parker Bushwacker after weeks of successful practice with my finely tuned scope I took the shot as she slowly turned to head back where she came from. I would have never taken that fifty yard shot with a compound bow, never. That sharp stick hit with a thunk right where it needed to be. A seventy five yard walk later and it was in the bag. That made me happy.

Thanksgiving was a rerun and that's the way we like it. All close family members on both sides are still with us as we enjoyed a fine dinner and friendship. That made me happy.

My Grandbaby's first birthday party was held between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other family members came over and got to meet her and spend time together. She's walking now and cute as can be. All in all 2014 was the most family oriented year I have spent in a very long time. And that is what made the happiest.

Try not to let the current leftist government and their mass media propaganda machine get you down, this is still the greatest nation in the history of man and I trust it is finally going to get better after six years of Zero's dictatorship. There's a lot of work to do but in the end it will make me happy again.

This guy's approach to life resonates with the way I have lived mine and still do. No apologies, none.

All the best to you and yours in the upcoming year. Keep calm and be happy.


Dan from Madison said...

Nice piece. St. Joe is really a nice place in the summer. We have vacationed in that area several times in the past and may go again this summer. Lots to do in that area. The beach at St. Joe is fantastic and by July you can swim there depending on how warm it has been. A few years ago it was like bathwater.

Carl from Chicago said...

I'm glad you've found something that you like to do. I don't think you were cut out to be retired yet. You work too hard for that!