A Week of Marked Contrasts

I can kinda-sorta hear the infamous DQW’s iPod singing faintly, “Life is a yo-yo; I want to sling it all night long ….” Then again, the sound is muffled so my apprehension of the lyrics might be off a bit.
But geez. What a week. First the good.

  • I received the electronic notice for the pending balloting for offices within the Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality. I’m the sole nominee for president-elect, so barring some unforeseen difficulty, I’ll soon begin the three-year cycle of P-E/president/past-prez within that august organization.
  • I was appointed the national co-leader of the SIG Team for the National Association for Healthcare Quality, by the 2014 NAHQ president. NAHQ has several special-interest groups — clusters of professionals aligned along some sort of common interest. I spent the last year as facilitator of the Ambulatory Care and Care Transitions SIG; now, I’ve been asked to help at a higher level, providing leadership and coordination to the SIG facilitators.
  • The email for the┬áVI European Congress on Methodology came out this week; my session, about surveying chronic-disease patients to ascertain barriers to effective self-management, is on the final roster. Looks like I’ll be off to The Netherlands this July!
  • I enjoyed a lovely Christmas party with the full complement of my writing group last night. We had desserts, a book exchange and a Secret Santa event. We even Skyped in Mary from PA, which was nice.
  • My boss bought me lunch this week. We had our fourth-quarter birthday celebration, so those of us with birthdays in the latter part of the year were treated on Tuesday. We ended up walking to Gus’s. The place was chock-full of sheriff’s deputies on lunch break, which was rather amusing.
  • I fired up Mint on my Windows Phone. First time in a year that I actually used the site or its services. Turns out, I had a nearly 25 percent increase in my 403(b) account total since last year. I’m actually closing in on the retirement-savings level that industry professionals say is the “gold standard” for my age bracket. Geez.
  • My “post-NaNo” diet is working, it seems. Down about 4 lbs. (or so) in two weeks.
  • People seem to know me. I got the gift of alcohol from my Secret Santa, plus my landlord. And a director at work very generously provided me with a gift certificate to Founders Brewery. Yay.

Now the bad.

  • For the second time in less than six months, a local thief smashed a window on my Jimmy and stole something from the cab … while the vehicle was parked in my driveway, under a bright light. A bag of miscellaneous gear — my first-aid kit, my travel showering bag, my waist pack with some essential hiking gear — was snatched. About $250 in loss for the equipment, plus another $175 or so for window replacement. And it happened on Thursday morning and I couldn’t get an appointment with the glass guys until Saturday morning. Which means lots of driving in 20-degree weather without a window. Yay.
  • Getting over a long-running but fairly mild cold.
  • It dawned on me just how much my monthly insurance and utility payments are, since I paid them in one fell swoop yesterday. All told, my average monthly┬ácosts come to roughly $800. Not inclusive of rent, food, gas, savings, etc.
  • I’ve been unusually tired, which means my productivity has plummeted. I spent most of the week coming home, building a fire in the fireplace, uncorking a bottle of wine, and reading the news — usually with a cat on my lap. Peaceful, yes. Productive … not so much.
  • One of my more lucrative clients is on a two-week hiatus at the end of December, so my revenue will take a hit. Right at the same time I’m paying for window repairs, equipment replacement … and a notice that my rent is increasing $100 per month effective 1/1. Yay.

Win some, lose some.

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