Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Year, New Goals

Last year, I chose a word that would be my mantra for the year.  The word I chose for 2016 was "support."  This word proved tp be prophetic for 2016, but not in the way that I imagined at the beginning of the year.  With all of the changes my family was scheduled to go through, I imagined that I would need to be very supportive of my wife, my son, and our families as we moved halfway across the world to Saudi Arabia.  I was the only one who had done this before and I thought, hoped, expected that my experience would help me support my family.

For the first half of the year, that may have been true.  But on July 1, last year, my world was torn apart with the sudden death of my mother.  Instead of being the rock supporting Sara and Jack in the sea of changes, I was thrust into the current grasping for aid and support.  I found it in the arms of my wonderful wife and the smile of my amazing son.  Sara was always there by my side to keep me going.  She was there to listen when I needed to talk or to cry or simply needed a hug.  Instead of me getting Jack out of bed every day, Jack helped me get out of bed every day.  His daily achievements - rolling over, crawling, walking, talking, learning "touchdown", saying "Dada" or now, "Nana".  These are the things that kept me going.  Jack didn't know, couldn't know that I just wanted to crawl into bed and stay there all day.  He wouldn't let me.

Let's start with a look back at 2016 goals and how I did -
  • Pass my Arabic exam with a 2/2 or better (I need a 2/1)
    • I took my test a week after my mom's death.  I managed a 2/1+; short of my goal, but more than I needed.  I'll take it.
  • Move to Saudi Arabia
    • Obviously, we did this one.
  • Train for and complete a triathlon before July (sprint triathlon)
    • Perhaps my best success of the year.  This was NOT easy.  I had to really work to get the swimming and biking parts down.  The race itself was kind of a mess with my tire problems, but I finished and finished faster than I expected.
  • Watch at least two sun rises and two sunsets
    • My favorite annual goal, completed again for 2016.
  • Weigh 175 lbs or less (losing about 20 more pounds)
    • Did not succeed here.  I got down to around 192 lbs in February and was steady in the 190s into the summer.  After my mom's death and the move, I put on weight and went back above 200.  I ended the year at my heaviest in a while at 208.  I have failed with exercise since we moved here.
  • Visit at least 3 new countries
    • Failed again - only new country in 2016 was Saudi Arabia.  I expected that we would have done some regional travel during the year, but instead we went to Europe and to America.
  • Skype with Jacks grandparents once a week
    • More or less succeeded with this one.  We didn't hit every week, but we did a lot of skyping.
  • Visit with Jacks grandparents at least twice
    • This is the most heartbreaking.  My mom didn't see Jack again after we returned back to DC in January.  We had plans to see her the week after her death in Omaha, but she never made it.  We did visit Nanu four times in 2016 and we saw Omi at least four times too.
  • Post on this blog at least twice a month (this post counts for January)
    • Yeah, that did not happen.  This blog is not dead, but it is clearly on its last legs.  For 2016, I am hoping for a post every two months.  Maybe.

For 2017, I have more modest goals and hopes.  Perhaps its the inherited pessimism from the end of 2016, but my word for 2017 is "survive."  Survive having two kids under two.  Survive a Saudi summer.  Survive the bidding process.  Survive toddler jet lag.  Survive my busy work schedule.

As for goals, here is what is on tap for 2017.

  • Have a healthy baby boy
  • Get promoted at work
  • Visit two new countries
  • Watch at least two sunrises and two sunsets
  • Get a "good" new  post during bidding season
  • Weigh 185 lbs or less by end of year.
  • Work out 3x/week for at least 30 minutes
  • Run a race of at least 10k/6 miles or more

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