Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Recap

So there is less than 2 hours remaining in 2008 and I'm sitting in the data center of all places. By this point there isn't anywhere that I'm going to make it before midnight to celebrate so I decided to just write a recap of 2008 in the life of Bob K Mertz.

The 2 biggest highlights were of course that I officially and legally founded my company, Ransom Tech Services, this year and the second is that I joined the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. Both of these things have been really great moves but both of also come with their downfalls and frustrations.

If you've ever thought that it would be really awesome to be self-employed, you really might want to rethink that. Sure its nice to be able to set your schedule but many times the downfalls outweigh the benefits. Want an example? Well, I just said that I'm sitting in the data center, right? I decided that Christmas Even until New Years Day was going to be my vacation time and this is the second time I've had to come to the data center. Sure, I can come in at the time of day I want but there is no escaping the job. Overall, I do like what I do and I hope to see Ransom Tech Services grow in 2009.

Unlike being self-employed I would encourage just about everyone to join their local fire department. Being able to help people and serve your community is an absolutely awesome feeling. I haven't seen a whole lot of action yet but it is certainly an exciting job. I've been to a couple accidents and to a couple medic calls and this year I saw my first dead body as well. There are times that you have to sit back and think about what you're doing and why you put yourself through some of the things you go through, you see, and you experience. My emotional moment was a few weeks ago when we were called out to a gunshot wound call. Details became clearer as we went up the mountain and when we were told to stage for law enforcement we knew things weren't good. When we arrive on the scene our medic walked over to the body and shook his head and shortly after the sheriff's office brought out the yellow tape. The guy had committed suicide in his driveway by shooting himself in the chest with a 12 gauge -- seeing the dead body didn't make me an emotional wreck like I thought I was going to be (tho the image of him laying there will be in my mind forever I think) but what really had me processing my emotions was the wife and 15 year old son were home at the time. It was tough to process but eventually I realized that there are a lot of hurting people out there and I do what I do because I want to help them. I'm finishing up fire school in the next few weeks and will be a fully certified firefighter and I'm hoping to be able to watching LVFD grow in 2009. We are a very small department and have almost no members or technology but I'm hoping to be a big part of growing that this year.

Early in this year brought some major changes of who I was. I've learned a lot and I've also realized a lot about who I was. I've realized that some of the ways I felt about things didn't always reflect what I said. I've come around and I'm trying to make sure that my beliefs and my actions are synonymous with each other. A lot of these had to do with politics and religion but mostly, it all boiled down to the core of who I was.

On a sad note, 2008 brought a lot of pain towards the end. A very special 2 year old in my life grew extremely close to me and I close to her. Unfortunately, some things take time to heal and circumstances went way beyond my control and I realized that even though I was directly helping that little girl I was ultimately making another situation very stressful and I had to back away. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and feel like I've let her down but I ultimately do realize that I needed to do what I did. I pray that things turn around in 2009 and the changes that need to happen do happen but all I can do is know that I absolutely love 2 people that were in my life and continue to pray for both of them.

In the pissed off department, 2 new houses were built next to me and we lost a few acres of trees which happen to be a huge reason why I moved to where I did. Additionally those houses STILL remain empty and most likely will stay that way for a year or two... or more? It's really irritating that people are always out just to make the buck and get ahead and have no respect for what or who they destroy in the process. Our whole society is really self-centered anymore. Warren County is growing and I'm not happy about it. Sure, maybe my property value will go up but I really don't give a crap because there are some things that are much more important to me than money.

May brought a few headaches my way which involved a good amount of stress from Comcast (which recently has become a frustration again which I may touch on in a week or so) and another was some stress related to my church. Unfortunately as we close out 2008 I still really don't know what my place is as far as churches are concerned. I absolutely love the church that New Life was but it just isn't the same anymore. Lots of people left the staff and the church seems to have reverted back to a traditional church which was the exact opposite of what I fell in love with. I'm still involved with doing some of their tech stuff and I really do care about the church but May brought a lot of stresses and that changed a lot.

August brought the next round of stresses but most of these were of a decent nature. I began fire school around that time and, at the same time, my workload increased a TON. A lot of stress was put on me but as we end 2008 it looks like I made it through and that is a really great feeling. I learned a lot about taking life as it comes and became a lot stronger in dealing with insane amounts of stress. I'd say it was great in the end.... but man did it hurt for a while :)

While it's true that I'm kind of down about not being able to celebrate the new year with anyone and I'm feeling the pain of still being single and somewhat ending this year feeling down and out the year really has been a good one. I pray that God leads me in new and exciting directions in 2009 and that as I close out that year I'll be able to say the same.

God Bless all of you and your families and I hope you have an awesome 2009!

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