2018 Year in Review

Like clockwork, it’s New Years Eve and time once again for me to work on my 2018 year in review. This year was a big year in many ways, but for the most part, much of it was good. I didn’t blog as much in 2018, and that was intentional. I had been doing a daily blog post for 3 years straight, and I simply needed a break. It was a great mental exercise, and sometimes I miss it, but I was happy to have less pressure to create content on a daily basis. My plan for 2019 is to move towards a more scheduled, and regular, approach to posts, but it won’t be daily again in 2019.

My lack of blogging, and a very busy weekend, meant that I still need to do my yearly running and biking review. Despite being 2019 tomorrow, I think I’ll post those in the coming days as a reflection of the past year. I’ve got some big news to share in my running one in particular.

2018 was a year of changes and self-discovery for me. As my kids have gotten older I’ve found myself questioning more and more what I want to do with the second half of my life. I’ve mused about this on multiple occasions on this blog, but still don’t have any solid answers. However, I’m feeling more secure that I’m on a journey that will soon find some enlightenment.

At the end of 2017 I wrote the following words:

My job is still a job. I struggle with being interested in corporate IT anymore, but it pays the bills, and I’m actually a really good manager, which gives me some satisfaction. There are days that I want to just get rid of it all and buy and RV and live on the road, but then other days I look at my paycheck and realize that giving that up is harder than you’d think.

Those words are even truer this year than last. I changed jobs in 2018, making a lateral position move to a place where I assumed there would be less stress and more opportunity. However, just the opposite has happened. My final months of 2018 have been some of the worst times I’ve ever had in my IT career, and I’m more and more determined to make some kind of change in the coming year.

This year I also had the milestone of celebrating my oldest son’s graduation from high school. Although he’s not quite on the college path that we had assumed he would be on, he’s making progress and is learning more and more what it means to be an adult. He’s a smart kid and I have no doubt that he’ll work it all out in time.

We managed some travel this year with our annual trip to Vegas in the winter, a bunch of trips for races, and a nice camping journey in the Porkies. I also took my oldest with me to Milwaukee where I got some new tattoo’s and we got to spend some father-son time together. Despite these trips, we didn’t get the camper out as much as we had hoped, and next year we need to spend more time relaxing in natural places.

One other exciting part of 2018 is that my wife and I started a small company to put on trail races, and our first race is coming up in January 2019. The St Croix 40 Winter Ultra is a winter-survivalist race, overnight in the cold. It’s meant to be a training ground for tougher races like the Tuscobia 80/160 or the Arrowhead 135. It’s also meant to be a place for Lisa and I to start developing our chops and hopefully expand to other events in the future.

I continued for another year as the President of the Board for the Upper Midwest Trail Runners Association, and plan on keeping that up for a bit longer. I love giving back to a wonderful community, and feel proud every thing this group has been able to accomplish in 2018. I’ve found that I love being a part of vibrant communities that bring joy to people.

A few other notable items from 2018 in no particular order

  • Got back to brewing some beer for the first time in a while
  • Visited dozens of taprooms and had lots of fun brewery trips
  • Got an awesome portrait lens for my camera which has been amazingly fun
  • Went to lots of MN United FC games and am really stoked about the new stadium next season
  • Read more books than I have in a long time

Finally, I did end up finishing the year with a tougher bout of anxiety than I’ve had in a long time. It came with all kinds of strange new symptoms, but from all my medical tests (and I’ve had a lot of them), I’m mostly healthy. I’m hoping that like in the past things will slowly calm back down and I’ll be able to return to a more normal feeling body. I know a lot of my issues relate to my sense of identity and purpose in my life, so perhaps as my job/career situation gets more settled things will get easier.

Here’s to wishing all of you a happy new year, and a happy 2019. Thank you for everyone that’s shared this journey of 2018 with me, and I look forward to more adventures to come.

 

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