The Best and Worst of 2012

It’s still only a few days into the new year, which means that it’s still the perfect time to look back on what has happened this past year and see if I can learn from those events.  It’s been a long, long time since I had such an eventful year; honestly, I’m not sure if I ever had such a year (and given the nature of some of those events, I’m largely hoping I don’t have another one).  Since this is a blog, I’ll also share some of my favorite posts from the past year, to help you in case you missed some of what I’ve written these past 366 days (with the leap year last year and all).  So, with no further ado, let’s look at some of the many things that happened, starting with:

The Best Events Of The Year

My Daughter Was Born – I’d be remiss if I didn’t start my list of the good things from this past year with the birth of my wonderful and beautiful Elaine.  In spite of a rather rough year in many other respects, from health to money (more on all that in the Worst Events section), I would not change a thing about 2012, since it ended with her being born.

I have more pictures than I think my blog could handle, but I'll limit myself to just one in this post
I have more pictures of my daughter than I think my blog could handle, but I’ll limit myself to just one in this post

I Got Married – After more than four years of dating and two years of being engaged, I made my beloved Sondra my wife.  Every day I get to wake up with my wonderful girl and have the opportunity to spend a great deal of my time with her.  Yet another thing I wouldn’t want to ever change.

I Finished Grad School – It took until last month, nearly half a year after I had hoped to get my degree, but I now have a Master’s Degree in Chemistry.  It’s going to take a while to use that degree in order to get myself a good job, but it was still nice to reach the goal I’ve been working towards for the past two years AND make myself that much more desirable to would-be employers, to boot.

I’ve Been Blogging For Three Years – It’s hard to believe, but yes, this blog you are currently reading is now over three years old.  I’m as surprised about it as you are (probably more so, as I’m the one who’s had to keep writing).  It’s been a long road, but all my friends and fans have made things worthwhile.

I’ve Written (Over) 900 Posts – You can’t blog for as long as I have without writing quite a few posts.  This year, I hit 900, and I’m well on my way to 1000.  As I’m trying to write even more in the average week, hopefully it won’t take another three years (actually, closer to three and a half) to get to that point.

The Worst Events Of The Year

I Had a Seizure – It’s hard to come up with something worse that happened last year than developing epilepsy (or more accurately, having the epilepsy I was displaying back in 2011 develop into a much worse condition). It raises numerous problems and possible life complications, not the least of which is my current inability to take on a job or drive.  It leaves me in a less than desirable condition to start 2013.

My Blog Was Hacked – Alas, if I had had the advice I listed in this blog entry, perhaps I would have saved myself a great deal of time and aggravation.  Luckily, I managed to recover without too much downtime, but I’m still trying to get this blog back to exactly where I would like it.  A major goal for the start of this new year is to get it fully restored soon and hopefully making money again.  Speaking of money…

My Finances Are In Pretty Bad Shape – Lastly, but not least (particularly for someone who runs a personal finance blog), my finances have taken quite a hit this year.  From this time last year, I’ve added over forty thousand dollars in debt (mostly medical debt, but still), lost (or sold) nearly nineteen thousand dollars in investments, and in general watched my net worth decline by nearly $64,000 (more than I can expect to make in a year when I get a job, even with my fancy new degree).  To say that it was a bad year as money goes doesn’t seem to do it justice.

My Favorite Blog Posts from 2012

What Percentage am I? – This is one of my favorite (and dare I say it, fun) posts of the past year, particularly with the ability to find out where you stand compared to the rest of the country.  I am particularly happy to know that when I rejoin the work force, I’ll be pretty well paid.

Just How Many People Need to Work? – I like this article, if only because it looks into an issue that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, how many people would need to keep working to keep the country running (if everyone tried to live on passive income as so many authors suggest doing, for example).  It did take more work and effort than the typical post, but that’s part of why I enjoy it so much.

Job Hunting Success – Technically a series and not an individual post, it is still one of favorite things to work on this past year.  Besides having the chance to share some of the many things I’ve learned from more than half a decade of job hunting, I also was able to research a few new ideas to help me when I next resume my job search.

Will Having Money Change You? – A particularly philosophical post, but one I think about more than a little (I do hope to have more than a little bit of money before too long, after all).  It’s hard to certain how much money will change you, but it’s good to try to make sure that it changes you for the better, rather than making you a worse person overall.

Some Advice on Studying – I’ll admit, this isn’t really personal finance related (although, if you are a frequent reader, you should know this is a fairly common thing around here), but when you spend as much time as I did going to college and grad school, you learn a few things.  Hopefully, it helps some students do better on their next tests.

Giving Thanks 2012 – I do enjoy being able to share the good things in my life, as you might have noticed from this very article.  A few more things I am thankful for this past year are listed here.

2012 was a very interesting (if sometimes rather rough) year.  What are some of the good (or bad) things that happened to you last year?  What do you hope happens to you this coming year?

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