2014: In The Rear-view Mirror

It’s 8:30pm and I’ve been thinking about this post for a few hours now.

When we reflect on things we always seem to want to polish them up, make them shinier than they are. This is an attempt to do that.

I turned 40 in 2014.

I always believed that life ended at 30, so to get here was miraculous in and of itself.

I could let this post spiral into the abyss of self deprecation, which it feels like it could. Yet, I’ve dug deeper than that, easing past the void to pull out some amazingly shiny bits of matter to expose to the world. It’s going to take a mini novel to get there, so please be patient.

Coming into 2014… We had just moved back to Massachusetts after spending some time in Nashville, TN.

I work for a company that, luckily, I can transfer all around the country to work. Coming back from TN though there was no position at home on Cape Cod for me right away. I had to settle for working in an area that I was unfamiliar with. One that turned out to be taxing on my family mentally and physically.

My wife and I moved our kids to Cape Cod after a few short months in Worcester. I had to wait a bit though for a transfer, and luckily for me, I had a friend I could stay with during the work week. I went home to my family on weekends. A couple short months later, I was transferred to Plymouth. No, it was not Cape Cod, but it meant I could go home every night and that was a huge bonus. To be able to see my wife and kids each night, that was a treat.

During this move process I had started an online Associates Degree program for IT. WOW! After not even having taken one class in 20+ years this was a huge thing for me. The intro classes were somewhat easy, and things seemingly would stay about the same. YEAH RIGHT! They started throwing math at me. I had not gone past pre-algebra in high school, it was not required. Now I was doing Algebra, Trigonometry and Functions, learning the laws of Sines and Cosines. Even a little statistics tossed in there for good measure. It threw me for a big loop.

Time management has been a super issue for me. I am horrible at juggling things, it’s not a skill I have an affection for. I may be doing something and see something more interesting, now my focus is gone and I have to play catch up to get back to where I was.

On top of real life, work life and school life I was running OCR’s with my friends and teammates. Even though my training was subpar at best, I managed to finish a Spartan Trifecta in just over a month. What is that? Well you run three separate races to earn pie pieces. These pie pieces come together in some Voltron like fashion and create a mega medal. The races are the Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super and the Spartan Beast.

I ran my Sprint in Amesbury, MA. It was roughly 4.5 miles long and riddled with obstacles. My Spartan Super piece was earned in New Jersey and was roughly 8+ miles long, and again, obstacles were scattered throughout. Finally, my Spartan Beast was run at the original Beast location at Killington in Vermont. Beast doesn’t even begin to cover how this race was. Some say it was 14 miles, others have it nearing 18 miles. I tell you what, after 10 hours on that mountain I don’t care how many miles it was, I slayed the Beast.

Between all of that I ran a few others this year such as MuckFest, FIT Challenge, Super Hero Scramble and Renegade Playground. There may have been a few more, they escape me at the moment. Either way, what free time I did have was spent getting muddy and putting my body through some of the worst torture it has ever seen. Before 40 I could have cared less about this stuff, hell I was going to be dead by this age anyway right?

In early November I finally got transferred back home and now work locally.

When I look back at the year I see all the ups and down, the struggles and the achievements. It’s all there, yet I feel like there is so much more.

Instead of the proverbial resolutions which will be gone in a month or two, stop kidding yourselves, I have set goals. Goals that are not wishful thoughts or pipe-dreams I thought up while sipping champagne into the night. We’re talking tangible stuff here.

In 2015 here is what IS going to happen.

Finishing this Associates is ENORMOUS. The possibilities will be endless, and the future will hold so many more things for me and my family.

Seeing the world would be great, but alas… Do I see Ireland in our future though? Hmmm, maybe!?!

A second car would be AWESOME!!

Finishing the Winter Death Race with a friggin skull in my hand! Now wouldn’t that be something?

A personal goal of mine is to break out of my shell. I’m somewhat of a recluse, if you can believe it or not. I’ve got friends, it’s not that. I just have always preferred the company of my family. My wife always tells me to get out and socialize, so I guess I should do that a bit this year.

Health is always a big thing, right? Difference is, I’ve already made the changes and have been leading a plant based life at this point. So I guess I just keep going with that. Maybe I’ll get more creative with meals and find tastes that we can all enjoy?

Fitness is a good one, as you read in my “about me” section I could always use more exercise.

Biggest of all to me though is to become a better husband and father. This is always something I need to work on. With my life being so busy it’s easy to take those around me for granted. I always think that they are going to be here no matter what. Who’s going to want to be there though if I am not? Time to realize what is truly most important, and that is my wife and family.

So, with love I bid 2014 ado and welcome 2015.

The 40’s are really kicking in. These are the highlight years though, not the twilight years. These one’s need to count. So here it goes….



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