Marathon Life

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Resolutions for 2011

Ever since I started a blog in February of 2000, I have posted New Year's resolutions. I went to see what my 2010 ones were, but I noticed I DID NOT post any! I must have been so miserable living in Orange County that I just forgot or didn't even care! Now that I am back in San Diego I am motivated and much happier. I even blog more often.

San Diego's Embarcadero is beautiful. Photo by ME!
Looking back on the last year, I achieved many goals. These were goals that I didn’t even set at the beginning of the year. The most significant achievement of the year has to be my job change. As time went on in 2009 I became more and more miserable living up in Orange County. San Diego was my home and had a special place in my heart as I had lived there since 2004. I had tremendous separation anxiety. I missed my friends and also missed the openness of many parts of the city including my favorite neighborhoods like Hillcrest, North Park and University Heights. I missed my gays!

Orange County is certainly not the hot spot for gays. I really missed just having a community in close proximity. LA was over 50 miles away and San Diego was 90 miles. I was in the middle of nowhere from my standpoint and felt very isolated. Granted, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach are very beautiful places with lush landscapes and beaches. I even lived on Balboa Island in Newport Beach for a time from May – Oct in 2009. Then I moved to Costa Mesa in October of 2009 and my experience in Orange County went downhill from there. Unfortunately much of OC is segregated by race and income and Costa Mesa certainly was the case. It actually should be a case study for racial segregation. I chose a neighborhood that I thought was going to be diverse, but it wasn’t and I felt very out of place. There were mostly lower income families surrounding me, with a few young people in their 20s and 30s here and there. Too many kids, too much noise and too much ghetto-ness. Just not my scene.

OC is simply not as mixed as many neighborhoods in San Diego. For instance, in University Heights where I live now, there are families, single gay and straight people, coupled straights, coupled gays, blacks, whites, Hispanic/Latinos, Asians, etc. There are apartment buildings next to cute Craftsman and Spanish style bungelows. There are Ethiopian restaurants next to Mexican restaurants next to Asian bistros next to Persian cafes next to hair salons next to antique shops. I am very happy to be back to my digs and feel at home.

As for the job itself, I started my search in February 2010. I had a lease at my Costa Mesa apartment until May 31, so I gave myself that deadline to find a job. If I needed to start a job before that date I would just pay double rent. Obviously that wasn’t an ideal situation. Well, after some interviews starting in early April through May, the last day of my lease (May 31) came and went and I did not have a job offer yet. June became the month of even more interviews and I got closer and closer to my “Escape from OC”.

Finally, on June 30, I received an offer to start a part-time contract job as a marketing specialist with a tech company about 15 miles north of San Diego. I immediately gave my notice at my then employer in Irvine the same day. A few weeks later on the second day of that contract job, I got another offer for a permanent full-time job, which I accepted. It all worked out in the end and I got a decent raise in salary and health benefits.

The other major goal I achieved in 2010 was the purchase of my first condo. Ironically it closed the same day I received the job offer (June 30)! The stars were certainly aligned that day. Since I had to move and the market was so good for home buyers, I just went for it. Being located in a different county had its challenges with the bank approvals, but I was still able to get the loan approved. The property I bought was a short sale and a very lengthy real estate transaction. The entire process took almost 5 months with my original offer submitted on February 8. It was worth it as I qualified for the First Time Homebuyer's tax credit, which I received in November. It's nice to have the extra cash for home improvements and to add as a cushion.

So 2010 wasn't a bad year at all. I got my life back in San Diego that I missed dearly. I got my motivation back in general. As for running, I still struggle with it and my hamstring injury, but my lower back no longer aches when I run. I am hoping I can do a marathon in 2011, but it's simply not a priority anymore. I can still do shorter races. Running will always be in my life, but I just don't know in what capacity. I actually miss tennis a lot lately. I may try to join the Balboa Tennis Club for $200 per year. It's a good deal and it will motivate me to play. I just worry about getting too competitive again. When I was in high school and college I was really mentally burnt out from all the matches I had to play. I put a lot of pressure on myself, always strategizing and thinking.

heater devices in my unit
On Christmas Eve I saw the paint bubbling above my fireplace. Well it turned out there is leak coming from the patio above mine and possibly the roof. The company that manages our HOA had a restoration company come in and they had to take out part of the wall, insulation and ceiling! The source of the leak is not very easy to find and I have been on the phone and meeting with roofers and other contractors for the past week. Since I am on the HOA board now, I called a meeting so we can review repair bids, etc. It's a good thing that we have plenty of money in reserves, but this is all new territory for me.

I may run for HOA president. There's only 4 people on the board including myself. It would make sense since the current president seems to be too busy to deal with the day-to-day issues that come up. Since I want to know everything that goes on with our property and actually care, I am a perfect fit. The other board members are supportive of me becoming president. We'll see how this meeting goes in a few days.

I am the type of person who gets things done. I am direct and I take action. The current president does none of that. He is the one who lives above me with the potentially faulty patio tiles that cause water to come down into my unit. Actually the sliding doors had water in them during the last rain. He said for the past 5 years water has collected there and in the corner INSIDE HIS UNIT! It BAFFLES me as to why he hasn't taken action on this, knowing it causes problems below his unit and within his own. He seems to not want to deal with it. He seems like the type of person who is too busy to care about a minor detail like water leaks. 

Back to my 2011 resolutions. Here they are.

1. Run at least 3 races in 2011. I can't commit to a full marathon but will certainly try to fit one in as one of my races.

2. Take a Spanish class at a community college. I may take one this January. I really want to learn the language again and it will help me in my career.

3. Help Jason get a job down in San Diego. Now that he is in the same state, I would love to help him get a job down here. I need to network on his behalf.

4. Read at least 4 books. I am really bad about reading now. I read tons of blogs and magazines but really would like to read more novels.

5. Start a monthly gay movie night. I want to entertain people at my condo and also get a group together to watch fun gay-themed movies.
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posted by Anthony at 12:26 AM


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