Reflecting on 2018


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While many may look back at 2018 with less than a rosy perspective, I think it was a pretty great year for me personally. I read a bunch of good books, my sister graduated college, my family is in relatively good health, I got to see almost all of my good friends at least once this year, my brother moved to within driving distance, and I got to marry the love of my life!

We all have things we’re struggling with, but it’s rewarding to take a minute to consider one’s good fortune and blessings.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! 🎊 🍾

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Gratitude

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately for a few reasons.

The first reason is that my wife and I have been slowly making our way through the writing of our wedding thank you cards. It’s taken more time than either of us thought it would. Partially because you want to find the right words to say, and partially because we both want to be involved in writing them and expressing our appreciation for our guest’s attendance and/or gift. Finding the time where both of us can sit down to focus on them is still a work in progress.

The second reason gratitude has been on my mind lately is because I heard an excellent talk about gratitude at a holiday industry luncheon. These types of luncheons are generally pleasant with people you haven’t seen for a while but tangentially know through the industry along with a speaker discussing various industry trends. But this speaker was different. He spoke about gratitude and its power to connect and lift people up. No request to donate to the group during the holiday. No moralizing. Just an interesting and thought-provoking take on gratitude. While I had heard this type of advice around thank you cards and daily mantras, this particular talk was the kind that grabs you because it was different than what you expected.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write a whole list of people thank you notes for some time (not just wedding-related ones). I’m not sure I’ll be able to match the 365 thank-you notes in a year like this lawyer did, but once a month seems like a good place to start for New Year’s Resolution #1.

Grand Re-Re-Re-Opening

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I’ve been musing all week about potential blog post topics. I want to post often and I want those posts to be interesting but I had been having trouble coming up topics. I thought about writing on some of the new goals I’ve set for myself and what I’m working towards but by themselves, they would barely amount to a tweet.

However, I’ve been trying to do quite a lot lately and it feels like a new beginning. While I’m the guy that enjoys re-committing every January 1 to my resolutions, I’ve learned that one doesn’t need to wait until then to work on something new. There is never a bad time for a start, right?

So what am I working on?

typing writing kermit

Well firstly, this blog. I’ve fallen out of writing anything but business email and short notes and I wanted to stretch my personal prose muscles, thus, this blog. I’ve blogged before but aside from my first blog, which lasted a couple of years, I couldn’t really get back into it despite trying a few times on different platforms.

Secondly, reading for pleasure. After law school, and aside from reading the rest of the Game of Thrones series (excellent and well worth your time if you enjoy reading fantasy books at all) and a few New York magazines, I haven’t really read for pleasure. One of my New Years Resolutions was to read 4 books. That’s not a lot, I know. But I wanted to read for pleasure and not just to beat some arbitrary goal. Thus far, I’ve crushed David Wong’s John Dies at the End (weird, excellent, and a quick read), abandoned Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice and John Updike’s Rabbit, Run, and used my 3 month free trial for Audible (since I’m a Prime member) to listen to Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. I’m currently listening to my favorite author, David Foster Wallace’s, Broom of the System as a borrowed audiobook from the NY Library and just started (literally on page 8) City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (which is cheaper as a paperback than on Kindle, which I don’t understand). City on Fire already reads as fluidly as Infinite Jest (by David Foster Wallace) so I’m excited for the rest of the book but trying to keep expectations at a reasonable level; something extraordinarily difficult given the 5 pages of quoted praise as the intro to the book.

Thirdly, I’m working on making more money. This drive has taken several forms. At the forefront, I’m making sure to stay on top of everything at the office since I enjoy the work. Maritime law is probably as much fun as the law can be and I feel lucky to work where I do. I’m also working getting my digital consulting side business up and running. It’s been a bit of a chore finding the time and drive after a long day or week of work.

Running

I’ve also been working on getting healthier. I’ve been counting calories with the Lose It! app on my phone and trying to run more often. I tried the running in the morning thing but despite my best effort, my 6:45am-self prefers sleep over exercise. I’ve also just started using Headspace, a meditation app. I definitely felt more relaxed after just a few minutes so I might stick with it. A free app definitely beats paying for yoga classes.

I think that’s enough to start.