I’m overwhelmed with gratitude today, but short on time. Bullets are the way to go. Random Bullets of Gratitude.
- I’m thankful I didn’t cry on my last day of work (though I got teary-eyed at least twice).
- I’m thankful I had a job that was worth being so sad to leave.
- I’m thankful my husband got a tenure track job in the state I love most. This was a truly ridiculous plan, yet it worked out.
- I’m thankful for my family, even though they are far away. I get to see them in less than a month!
- I’m thankful for friends that I’m leaving in LA, and those that I have scattered across the country.
- I’m thankful for new friends that I will make.
- I’m thankful for this little blog, even though I neglect it horrible.
- I’m thankful for having enough savings to feel secure
- I’m thankful for being able to take the month of December off. For the first time since 2006, I’m unemployed! (Temporarily!)
- I’m thankful for friends-giving thanksgiving.
- I’m thankful to have been born in this country and given the opportunities I’ve been given.
- I’m thankful for the chance I’ve had to live in such a beautiful place.
Maybe I threw myself into work the past 2 weeks to avoid thinking about the transition. Or maybe it really was just that busy. I don’t know. We had a big meeting on Thursday that I spent many hours prepping for – but after that, things returned to normal pace.
I got tears in my eyes at my office for the first time in months last Friday when realizing that my time was almost over. I have just 3 days left at the job I’ve been with about 6 years. In six years, I’ve had several different “jobs” and worked with several different groups and had some truly amazing experiences. I’ll miss it, but I’m hopeful that there will be new and wonderful experiences ahead – career and otherwise.
My husband admitted to being a little scared / sad / overwhelmed by the move. ”Are you scared too?” he asked.
I’m not. To be honest, I literally spent 4 months crying about moving, crying about changes, and coming to terms with our new future. I was scared, but not anymore. I’m sad, but ready.
I don’t take anything for granted.
I have been incredibly lucky in my life. I have made some good decisions, but I’ve made bad ones too. I’ve taken risks that have paid off, made sacrifices that I wasn’t sure would be worth it, and I put energy into everything I do. Yet I’ve also stayed back from many risks, refused to make other sacrifices, and chose not to pursue a near-infitine number of paths and goals.
Still, most days I wake up and think that I’m so incredibly lucky to have the life I have. At least, after I’ve had my coffee I think that I’m really lucky. But my coffee is very very often delivered to me in latte form by my husband, so it is hard not to start each day being grateful.
We always knew that we probably wouldn’t stay here forever, even if we stayed in the L.A. area in general. We knew we’d look back at our time in Santa Monica with fondness and nostalgia. The gratefulness that washes over you when you know that you will always remember these days as a wonderful and happy time is something I call (mostly just in my head) nostalgia for the present. It is a special feeling of wanting what you have. It is knowing that things may bet better or worse, but that today is something to be thankful for.
We are leaving a place that I spent six years falling in love with. I’m ready to fall in love with somewhere new, and hope to continue to experience nostalgia for the present there. I’m not a surfer, nor that much of a beach girl, not interested in hollywood, and wish there were more trees on the hiking paths. I prefer fall clothes and a slight bit more of seasons. I just need a place to run outside, a place with no -20 weather, and a place with beauty. I’ve found myself thinking of houses and babies more than I ever have before. After years of assuming I’d continue at my company (due to lack of a better assumption), for the first time in years I have no idea where my career will take me 2 years from now. It’s exciting, but scary. I do think I’m really really going to like our new life.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss all that I’ve experienced here.
I didn’t set any specific goals for 2013. I was way too overwhelmed, T was in the middle of job applications, and I had no idea how much double rent we’d end up paying. Having a goal or not having a goal wasn’t likely to impact what choices we made, so there was no sense in making them. At a high level, our plans were to:
- Max out my 401k and both of our Roth IRAs
- Secure a new job for T
- Hopefully secure a new job for me in the same city as wherever T got offers
- Vacation in Turkey as part of a conference T was going to
- Save as much cash as we could without worrying about it
We were able to succeed on the first three. As soon as I realized I’d probably be leaving my job before the end of the calendar year, I amped up my 401k contributions to ensure I’d still hit the maximum by my last day. The Roth IRAs are on track. We both have jobs starting in January.
I opted not to go on the trip to Turkey, both because I was feeling too overwhelmed with the prospects of moving and because it was too close to my UAE work trip to be practical. Instead, we took a week to hike in the mountains in California and are going to Paris and London in December. It isn’t the same, but I’m sure that I’ll love visiting both.
Our cash savings were better than I expected, given the lack of attention I paid to curbing expenses. So far we’ve saved about $14,500, and I don’t expect that to increase significantly in the next month. We have been pretty accustom to T’s previous lower salary, so his raise more than covered any additional rent costs and the relaxation in spending. I got a raise this year as well, and he brought in some consulting income. While we haven’t been frugal, we’ve created a lifestyle that costs significantly less than the income we need.
I’m really excited for a slightly more predictable 2014 and plan to set some more concrete goals. At the highest level, both of our top priorities will be adjusting to and succeeding in our new jobs. We could start to look at houses as soon as the summer. Unlikely it will be that soon – but possible. I want to establish my fitness / running routine in my new environment, and hopefully meet some new people in the area. There are a lot of changes, and a lot of opportunities.
You may wonder why I’m already in 2014 planning mode! I have just 10 (OMG!) work days left, so I feel like my year is just about done! I can’t think too much about it though! I’m still in execution mode at work and it breaks my heart to think too hard about leaving. I’m excited, but I am so lucky to have get to do what I get to do, and I’m definitely going to miss it!
Yoga!: I have so many classes to use before I move! I may be able to use them in Northern California, but I’ll have to check. So far it is the 7th of November and I’ve gone to 3 classes (and maybe one tonight).
Run: Yoga is the priority, but I do want to get back to a more regular running schedule, probably with a half marathon in the early spring. I’m still undecided if I’m going to do a 2014 marathon. I’ve done one the past 3 years, but am not sure how excited I am for another one.
Finalize Paris & London Itinerary: I prefer to have a long list of things to do, prioritized, then choose as we feel like it once we are there. While I’m open to adding / changing itinerary while I’m traveling, I absolutely HATE worrying about logistics while on my precious vacation time. (Some people avoid this by taking tours, I avoid it by doing as much pre-planning as possible.)
Work on this list, specifically: Close HSBC account, cancel 1 unneeded credit card, fix the name on my single share stock & set up log-in for other stocks. Confession: I hate this type of stuff so much. Our lease is still in my maiden name (and my husbands name), and my internet bill not only had my maiden name but also an old phone number. And nothing bad happened by not taking care of those things, and now that I’m moving, those problem is solved with no effort on my part!
Move! (watch the movers) pack up all of our stuff and say good by to my lovely little Santa Monica life
I’m tempted to put Christmas shopping on my list, but I don’t think it will really happen this month. Work is interesting, as there is a whole bunch of stuff I have to / want to do before I leave so my replacement’s life is not so hard. But I have 15 work days left to do it all. 15! Crazy!
It has been a big few days in the SP household…
- Job offer letter signed & sent: CHECK! I start January 6th!
- T’s job acceptance letter sent: CHECK!
- First month rent in new place paid: CHECK! And reached the CC rewards holy grail of paying rent via credit card!
- Notice given to rental office that we are vacating: CHECK! Only 1 week of overlapping rent.
- Movers scheduled to pack & load: CHECK! Paid for by T’s new job.
- Last day at work finalized: CHECK! Benefits for December intact, thanksgiving pay intact!
- Plane tickets to London and Paris booked: CHECK!
Guys, this is really happening. Ready or not!!!
Still to do:
- Be awesome in my last month of work and not leave my replacement too much of a mess (but it is R&D, so some mess is expected)
- Plan going away gathering
- Donate a few things
- Friendsgiving Thanksgiving (TBD?)
- Change address at All The Places
- Sell fridge. Is LA the only place where fridges are not standard with the apartment?? We bought ours used, and intend to sell!
- Sell desk. (Eventually procure larger more useful desk.)
Anyone have any SF Bay area must-dos? Favorite vineyards? We must join a wine club!!!
Living apart part-time has caused our financial management system to get more and more chaotic. Our expenses are extremely variable month-to-month. Sometimes we pay rent in two places, sometimes we don’t. We have extra credit cards that we got in order to score free flights. I just hate dealing with paperwork in general, so there are some random tasks that I’ve just never got around to.
Since we are moving and both starting new jobs, it seems like a wise time to clean up our financial system.
To do before new job starts:
Close that pesky HSBC account that has $0 in it
- Fix the name on my single stock & set up log-in for other stocks
- Consider cashing out stocks before 2013 ends (probably our lowest income year for some time)
Close Chase Freedom Card (SP)
- Close Chase Amazon Visa card (T)
Close Southwest card (SP)
- Close Southwest card (T) – TBD
- Add T as an authorized user on my favorite card
- Roll over 401k to IRA
- Open Ally CD (or other cash stash vehicle)
- Stop Roth IRA contributions for 2014 (assume ineligible)
- Set up our checking accounts as joint (?)
- Set up tracking system that I’m happy with (or revive old system)
Once the new jobs have started:
- Weigh medical benefit options and choose plans
- Set up 401k deposits (SP)
- Set up retirement deposits (T)
- Set up direct deposit (SP and T)
- Revisit 2014 goals
Uggggg, does anyone else get a headache just reading that list?!? These are all relatively easy things, but I hate dealing with this stuff!