Yeah – so why do I want to talk about personal? There’s a certain cathartic quality to it. Confession is good for the soul right?
When you own a business and when you are me, you tend to get consumed by it. It pretty much rules your life 24/7 and there isn’t much that pulls you away. I have pets. I have hobbies and for the last few years it’s all taken a back seat to work. I like work. I’m not married. I have no kids. I’m a bit of an enigma to people. On one hand I take very little seriously. On the other hand I will take things deadly serious at the drop of a hat. I look disorganized. I can currently have no ‘lost’ files on my computer as everything has a place. There isn’t much I won’t talk about if asked. My bookkeeping is a mess to me. To some it’s pretty well organized.
This year was a kick to the head on life. 2014 was also but not this severe. While I was running around working and trying to get clients and refine my business life the personal life started yelling off in the distance. When I didn’t pay attention it walked forward and got my attention the only way it could. Probably within the same week two family members turned up sick. One was old. One not so old. The driving started for one – the other I barely knew. Back and forth to Chattanooga I went. At some point in all of this I decided it was time to leave. Two years ago I made the decision to make a head clearing move to Athens Georgia. Two years and one cleared head later I decided it was time to head back to Chattanooga TN. There are about 7 major paths from Athens GA to Chattanooga. I’ve been on them all. More than twice. One has no cell phone coverage. I’ve been on it more than I will confess.
I say nothing revolutionary of sickness. Death comes for us all. One old man decided it was time to wrap it up and go. One young man didn’t pay attention to that mole on his leg. End result was the same. There is a practicality in my family to death. It’s a three day dance of decisions, visitation, and burial. This one was harder as one person, my uncle, was the closest family member to go in quite a while. There was a lot of angst and there still is almost 6 months after the fact. Of course the death of my mother’s brother also brings into question the parent’s mortality. Two people (both my parents are still alive) suddenly started wondering when they were going to make the next great adventure. Of course I wouldn’t lie and say I thought about that also. I didn’t make the other funeral. One was enough.
I had one huge blowout during this. One thing I did learn from the grind of problems is I am more or less a pressure cooker. Something it took me 44 years to figure out is when I get stressed I really need to walk away and vent and then come back. You would think that would be obvious. It’s not. Someone caught me at the wrong time at the wrong place after leaving my Uncle’s house and got the only “Go f*ck yourself” email I’ve ever composed. I’ve never sent one before believe it or not. In fact it had been so long since I’d sent that caustic of an email I even momentarily stopped at my third iteration and went “should I?” before hitting the send button. After that I’ve learned. I’ve turned down speaking engagements if I’m stressed. I want to be at my best – people need to see that and too often over the last bit I’ve walked out stressed and performed poorly. For the record it wasn’t a client. They never get those. Although in one case this year it was warranted.
By the 5th month of 2015 I ended up getting sick. How sick? Shoot me now sick. That’s when friends started going “You really need to slow down”. It happened again 3 months later only worse – and once more “please make some changes”. Well – when you get sick you slow down. I ended up with a diet change thanks to what I think is a new found food allergy. More exercising. Reducing the type of foods I was eating. Changing my dietary habits for the first time in a long time was strange and needed.
So I’m going to be stepping away more in 2016. Saturdays may become mine again. This last year I made a decision to start seriously getting away. Some call it life. I call it cheating to the thing I’m married to – work. I have a hard time stepping away. There needs to be a balance. That’s a goal for the first time in a long time – step back and enjoy this thing I’ve built instead of worry over it and about it 24/7. You can still call. Text. Email. I’ll answer. I may take just a bit longer in 2016 on the weekends. Concert, Canoe, or Camping – I may be at one or all three in 2016.
So anyway – that’s the personal year in review. There was more to it than just that but it’s all I will mention. There were in no order and very quickly: Concerts. Kids on a trampoline. Swimming at the beach. Walking through a California Neighborhood. First Uber Ride. Looking at Satellites yet to be launched. Petting Miso the cat. Meeting new neighbors. Car repair in the rain. Jeep repair in the sun. Bird Feeders full of Wood Peckers. Random acts of kindness. One random act of not so kindness. Lots of being lost. Lots of being found. Lots of Conversations. Walks in the woods. Tumbles off a log. More Cancer News for friends. Better science that made the last sentence bearable. Text messages I wished I had sent. Text messages I wished I had kept. That one voice mail 4 months after someone you care about dies that you happen to stumble upon. Broken Computers. Fixed Computers.
I survived it. Mostly.
So what do we talk about next………