Well, here we are. At the precipice of another year looming before us, I look back on 2012.
In January, I took a month's leave of absence after having been in Nigeria for the last half of 2011. It took a lot out of me and I needed the time to rest and recuperate. In February, I went back to the UK and began work on a project that was headed to Sakhalin Island, Russia. In April, I returned to the U.S. and was assigned to assist the Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, with their Dragon project that would be a major gas production field off the coast of Trinidad. From May 15 to June 15 I was in Trinidad babysitting a bunch of 36" pipe deep in the jungle of that tiny island. I remember the safety orientation upon entering the pipe yard. We were told to never approach the pipe that was on the ground without looking inside first...from a distance. It seems the crocs and the vipers like to get inside of them. Great. After that, I was assigned to help GE Vetco with an Angolan project. I was based in Houston, generating documentation in their engineering department.
The last week of September, my wife and I went on a long planned vacation to the Bahamas. On the day we got back, I was informed that I no longer had a job. I thought, "Man, you guys could have told me that before I left and spent $6000." Anyway, during the two weeks I was unemployed, I finished my sci-fi novel while networking and looking for a new job. A good friend of mine hooked me up with a guy who hired me...at nearly half the rate I was making before...as a Sr. Inspector for Det Norske Veritas (DNV). It was almost enough to keep the wolves away, but with my wife taking a job with a local supermarket, we were able to make ends meet with us only having to take out a thousand dollars a month from savings to compensate. It was straight contract, with no medical insurance or other benefits, but what I needed the most at the time was money.
Another good friend gave my resume' to one of his good friends who pushed it up the line. After two interviews and a little negotiating, I was offered a position with a major oil supplier at a little better than I had been making before losing my job in September. I start on January 7.
So, that brings us to 2013. Thirteen is just a number, but it is equated with bad luck by the more superstitious among us. I don't know what this year will bring, but I know one thing. There is no such thing as luck. There is such a thing as probabilities. There is such a thing as odds. But there isn't a thing such as luck. Luck is what YOU make if it's within your mental make-up and physical abilities.
I saw where a person in my tax bracket will probably have to pay an additional $6000 in payroll taxes in 2013 if Congress et al can't come to some sort of agreement today. The terrorists are offering a bounty on U.S. Ambassadors. Iran is still saber rattling over the Strait of Hormuz. North Korea is still being an irritant. The Chinese continue to build up their war machine. Syria, they say, could become another Somalia...just what Israel needs. Europe is still in economic crisis. Mexico's dead count continues to rise. Poverty abounds...disease is rampant...weather patterns are increasingly unpredictable...prices on everything is soaring...all the U.S. port longshoremen are threatening to go on strike...and 2013 seems to be set up to be quite an interesting year.
Millions and billions of people will celebrate its coming. There will be fireworks and parties and well wishes all around. Some people won't make it through the first day of 2013. Many won't make it through the year. Many more will be born into it, come to adulthood in it, enter puberty with it, laugh...cry...mourn...and be ecstatic about new things and old. As for me, I'll just get another year older...if I'm one of those who makes it to 2014. If 2013 happens to be my last, I don't think I will like that. Who wants to have a partial, unlucky number on their tombstone? 2014 would suit me better. Kind of has a ring to it. Don't you think?