Apparently it is 2018 now.
Getting back on the horse
I haven’t written much over the past few months. Life has been busy and once you are out of the habit of writing it becomes a harder thing to do. This is my 2018 ice breaker so I can get some words on paper as it were and put my writing muscles to work.
A life update
Last year I set out some goals for the year.. Some things went well, some went well for a while and some didn’t happen. I’m not going to go through them all, but here is the gist of it.
Life was going fine and I was ticking off boxes getting things done in my monthly plans of things I wanted to accomplish. Then in May my woodworking business took off. The story of the rest of the year is covered in sawdust. My little side hustle grew lots. By early December I had quadrupled my 2016 sales and I still had orders to fill.
I was up at 5:30 am everyday and in my workshop making products for the first hour of the day before getting myself ready for work and the kids up and ready for school. On weekends I spent many hours cutting and sanding wood and some evenings were the same.
It was a tremendously successful year on the business front and that made achieving all my other goals more difficult. I reviewed the sales and cycles over the past few years with the business. Now I am thinking about how I can learn from this past year and what I can do during the slower periods to be better prepared for the busy periods. I want to avoid having the business take over my life for as long as it did in 2017. I still have some room for growth if I manage it a little differently.
The other stuff
Frankly everything was covered in sawdust including my family.
My youngest started school this fall and now all three of my kids are in school. That is a pretty big milestone.
A bigger milestone is that we no longer have any kids wearing diapers at any time of day or night. Now I can start to save for retirement now instead of buying all of the diapers… I’m not sure how much we spent on diapers for three kids over the years and I think it is better that I not try to figure that out.
We have continued to work on behavioural challenges with one of my kids and I keep dreaming that if we can get all of this sorted out before she becomes a teenager then the teenage years should be a breeze by comparison. I can say for certain that she challenges me to be a better parent almost every day. I feel that over the past year I have improved my parenting to being the parent I want to be in about 50% of cases now. Some days I feel like a pretty substantial failure though.
We all got sick. It started in earnest in July when my partner and daughter were diagnosed with strep throat. As it turned out, my partner had an antibiotic resistant form of strep which took three rounds of antibiotics and more than six weeks to beat. Once that was done, we had a few weeks of relative health before we all got a cold. Mine lasted from mid-October until a few days before Christmas. For extra fun it turned into pneumonia for a few weeks of that time. My partner continues to deal with a sore throat. Otherwise my familiy is the healthiest we’ve been since early July.
My kids are happy. They are siblings and as such they spend plenty of time fighting with one another. They also have moments of peace where they all play together happily and they help each other. They are good kids and I think we are doing a pretty good job with this parenting gig so far.
Lots of learning
I tried to focus on listening and learning in 2017. I set out to find new voices on all sides of the political spectrum to listen to. I made an effort to resist contributing my opinion on subjects with which I had no lived experience. I paid attention to conversations that I had previously been able to or chose to ignore and I thought about my place. I think this listening is in part why I didn’t write as much this past year. There are lots of straight white guys taking up more than our fair share of space already and I didn’t feel the need to add to the noise.
I think I am a better person for taking this time to listen. I will continue to listen. I do plan to write more and I am going to do my very best to only speak for myself. I will take time to consider my words and privileges more carefully before I hit publish.
What’s in store for 2018?
I don’t know. I haven’t done a lot of thinking about my goals for 2018. I am going to focus in the same areas as the past couple of years.
For my business I am going to work on spreading out the work throughout the year to reduce the pressure in the busy fall season.
For my blog I am going to work through writing a list of more than 20 blog topics that I brainstormed after I attended the Dad 2.0 Summit last year. I wrote about wanting to be an influencer following that conference and didn’t get around to pursuing that objective in writing. I did seek out a job prospect that would enable me to play a role in setting policy for families. It didn’t pan out and by then it was sawdust time. So this year I am going to get to work writing on these and other topics that come up.