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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Friday, 25 December 2009

I hope everyone had a magical Christmas this year.  It's been a year of ups and downs for every family - and I wouldn't be surprised that every family has been affected in some way by the financial mess that we nicknamed the Credit Crunch at the start of this year.  It's really been a year of survival!!

For most of you, I am glad that you have made it through the worst of it, and I've been fortunate enough to take some bold steps forward in a year where I didn't think it would be possible.  I completed my house purchase in March of this year, and purchased a new car in September.  This is not to say I could afford all of these luxuries at face value, but wanted to invest in both purchases at a time when I had sufficient savings that weren't really worth "saving" in the conventional way.

Hopefully over time, I hope these investments plan out.  I wanted to get rid of the Renault Clio, after the previous one almost killed me, so wanted to go with something that had a bit more reliability behind it.  German or Japenese of course topped the list!  German pipped it the post though :)

Work - well that's where the credit crunch really hit home.  After Amex made 11,000 people redundant during late 2008 and early 2009, it's been tough for everyone!  We all knew friends and colleagues who were affected, with some leaving the company for good.  For us who remained, we were just thankful that we had a job, and just kept ourselves going.  Motiviation was very difficult, but I think we stayed as cheerful and productive as we could.  Although some projects went on-hold, the irony is that we ended up focusing on more and more on the detail of the outstanding projects, so actually each project remained extremely challenging and mentally trying.  But it was a very valuable lesson on how to question every little thing and thinking of the longer term effects of a particular decision.  No doubt we will continue with the same focus in 2010 with possibly more surprises along the way.  BUT, I will continue to treat it as an enjoyable challenge if possible, and make the most of it.  We'll see what 2010 has instore for me.  I've now performed my current role for over 5 years (December 2004) and been with Amex for over 6 (September 2003), maybe 2010 is a time of change?  Who knows. 

Outside of Amex, well I'm extremely pleased to have kept in touch and socialised with a merry bunch of folks.  I've got some very good friends who I trust and respect, and value their friendship indeed!  I have also been fortunate to meet some great new friends most recently, and feel that 2010 might be the year of surprises too on this scene too, but we'll see what happens in 2010.

In short, I've had a rather "different", actually quite an "interesting" year.  I've had a couple of significant positives, but hope I can start to settle down and focus on where I want to be and do in the future.  Who knows what the futures holds.  Wish me luck...

I hope you all have a wonderful time, I trust you will spend it with you friends and family, and I look forward to see some of you during 2010!

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