I quit my job. My last day was Wednesday (Star Wars Day – May the Fourth be with you). As time went on I realized I wasn’t interested in climbing to the next rung of the ladder so the drive and energy was hard to maintain month after month. Working just for the money can be a real grind long term.
I am going to miss the people I worked with at my old job in Middleton. I made a lot of friends and met a lot of cool people over the three and a half years I worked there. I also had the opportunity to help mentor others which was rewarding. Some of those I mentored in turn started to mentor others which is neat to see.
I learned a lot about the insurance industry and saw how hard work can pay off. This was my first “real job” after college and it was a great introduction to the real world. I did well and managed to pay off my student loans last fall which made my current life change possible.
I had been thinking about leaving for about a year or so. The timing I picked worked out well. My apartment lease was up, my girlfriend is finishing up grad school next week, the weather is turning from spring to summer, and I have a round trip ticket to Athens and not enough vacation days.
(My previous employer always sent polite notification emails to the rest of the team when people left wishing the departing employee “best of luck in their future endeavors)
Plenty of time for coloring now that I am unemployed.
My immediate plan is tagging along on a 2 week vacation to Greece with my girlfriend and her friend. I do have some other things I would like to do as time goes by. Last year I earned my motorcycle license and bought a small motorcycle so I hope to get some miles in on that. I also plan to kayak and bicycle and enjoy the weather. I look forward to seeing more of my parents and other family members.
The next step is to wait until my girlfriend finds a job and look for something wherever she ends up. I moved back to Horicon to live with my dad to keep the rent low and stretch my savings if I have to while the job search is happening. I know that this change will be a net positive (if not financially then at least where happiness is concerned).
I am excited about the next adventure and hope to share more with you. But if the past is any indication any sharing will be sporadic at best!
Yesterday had most of the ingredients for a top notch Saturday including family, friends and gorgeous weather.
It was an early start to the day with the alarm going off at a little after 7. I headed to Horicon to my dad’s. We loaded up my kayak in the back of his truck and he dropped me off at Greenhead boat landing for the Horicon Marsh paddle put on by the Friends of Horicon Marsh. It was sunny with a nice breeze. There were over a hundred boats doing the 6.5 mile trek with stops along the way to learn about birds from DNR employees. I took my time and finished in 2.5 hours. I saw a bald eagle pointed out to me. There is one nesting and has 3 little ones.
After I got back my brother, father and I headed to a family friends 50th anniversary party in West Bend. It was neat to see all of the lives this couple have touched over the years including our family’s. And the food was good as well – I especially enjoyed the Swiss steak.
After driving back to Horicon I headed back to Middleton for Shake the Lake fireworks on Lake Monona. I took the bus downtown (with my bike on the front of the bus), grabbed a quick bite to eat at Paul’s Pelmeni and met with some friends to watch the fireworks. It was almost a 40 minute show. I think it was aptly named as at some points the ground was indeed shaking. There were hundreds of red and green lights on the lake from the boats watching the show.
Afterwards I biked home in the beautiful evening weather. I hadn’t bike from downtown since last fall. It is about 7 miles or so and is really peaceful late at night (as long as you have a headlight to see where you are going).
Overall it was the kind of Saturday that you look forward to beforehand and treasure afterwards. Summer days with weather like that make the winter more bearable and the family and friends just enhance the enjoyment.
On Saturday January 24 I participated in the 2nd annual Spell Yeah! fundraiser for the Horicon Phoenix group that puts on Concerts in the Park, set up a disc golf course and does other initiatives in my hometown. I don’t mean to brag but my aunt, my cousin, my cousin’s friend and I were returning champs. So this year everyone was gunning for us – would we be able to stand up to the pressure? We may have had some confidence as our team name this year was “Do it again”
This year it was all team competition. The word would be said and we could confer but then a rotating “speller” would have to stand up and actually spell without help. If a team got it wrong another team could buy a do-over (this was a fundraiser after all). The competition was fierce and we purchased a few to keep our score up. Our team was really good again this year and out of all of the words I think we would have had 75%-80% of them correct. We went into the final “lightning” round with a score of 15 and a one point lead. The lightning round was new so we weren’t sure what to expect. One speller would get a chance to spell a word for 5 points. There would be no do-overs and no team help for this one.
Because the words were 5 points the words were very difficult. Team after team was getting the words wrong. However when it got to third place with 11 points the guy spelled flaccidity correctly and that put them a 16 points. This team was a dark horse and we were all surprised as we weren’t concerned because we didn’t know about the 5 point lightning round. The pressure was on. Second place spelled there word wrong. Then it was my turn.
The Queen Bee (not the actual name but the official were wearing antennas) gave me my word. She said something that sounded like “in-soo-shent”. I had no idea what the word meant and it was hard to picture it in my head. The game was on the line and I could feel the pressure and the eyes on me. I closed my eyes as I did every time I had to spell and said the letters out loud. “I-n-s-o-u-c-i-a-n-t”. The judges look surprised and to be honest I was too when they said it was correct. It was pretty exciting. Kind of like a three pointer as the clock expires or a Hail Mary in overtime. Except that this was not an athletic contest at all.
Overall I had a good time. I did feel good going in but you never know how these things go and what the competition will be like. Overall there were 8 or 9 teams and I think everyone had a good time. There were dirty rounds with suggestive words which kept the evening fun. This was a little awkward because both my parents were in the crowd. Some of the words I remember besides the winning one were sadomasochism, bratwurst, bankruptcy, promiscuous, pudenda, tumescence, intravenous, separate, frottage, and ukulele. (I guess the dirty words were a bit more memorable). It was a lot of fun and the money went to a good cause. Plus now I have two spelling bee trophies at home which would balance out my mantle place if I had one.
You can read more about the Horicon Phoenix at there website.
On my recent trip to Delafield I found a postcard from my hometown of Horicon. It showed the downtown area circa 1914 (at least that is when it was mailed. I couldn’t stop smiling as I paid for it. I like postcards and finding one from my relatively small town is pretty rare. I decided to take a picture from about the same spot to be able to compare.
Here is the picture from 1914: Continue reading