Tuesday, January 9, 2018

It's 2018 already

Somehow, it is 2018 already.  2017 flew by pretty quickly.  We are already on the down slope of our tour in Riyadh.  2018 will see us jet back to Washington DC where I will start a two year tour as a desk officer.  For the third year in row, I am choosing a word of the year.  2016 was ‘support’ and 2017 was ‘survive.’  I chose ‘survive’ in 2017 because 2016 was so hard and just getting through what was sure to be a difficult year was going to be enough.  I think that I, along with Sara, did more than just survive 2017.  By no means has the year been easy.  Being separated for six weeks from my family was tough.  I lost my grandfather and namesake in May.  The Saudi summer was rough.  And I have probably never slept as little as I have this year.  But we have two healthy, happy boys.  Sara and I have developed a routine here in the Magic Kingdom that is heavy on time together – the way we want it.  We have friends and family who love us.  The year has been better than I hoped twelve months ago.

Before we flip the page to 2018, I want to take a look back at my 2017 goals and see how I did.

·                     Have a healthy baby boy
    • Sara is way more responsible for this than I am, but it’s my blog so I will call it a goal achieved.  Crosby is doing fantastic.  He will be crawling within weeks.
·                     Get promoted at work
    • Joy! Relief!  When the promotion list came out in September, my name was on it.
·                     Visit two new countries
    • We visited Dubai in February, Bahrain in September, and Egypt in December.
·                     Watch at least two sunrises and two sunsets
    • There are some beautiful sunrises and sunsets out here in the desert.  We have a desert landscape path here which gets really beautiful sunsets and sunrises.
·                     Get a "good" new  post during bidding season
    • Returning to DC was our back-up option.  I really am looking forward to the position I will be working in, but we preferred to stay overseas.  So, this counts as a fail.
·                     Weigh 185 lbs or less by end of year.
    • Complete fail.  Instead of losing 10 lbs., I gained 15 lbs.  I am not sure if it is Saudi or kids (it’s kids!), but finding the 30-60 minutes to workout when I am constantly exhausted was difficult.  And it turns out, I stress eat when I am tired.  Not a good combo.
·                     Work out 3x/week for at least 30 minutes
    • Failed on this one.  If I average over the whole year, I probably managed 1.5x/week.  I am hoping to schedule more dedicated exercise time for 2018.
·                     Run a race of at least 10k/6 miles or more
    • I managed this one this summer in San Antonio.  I even managed to set a PR in the 10k.  The best part was I convinced my Dad and sisters to race as well (Dad and Katie walked the 5k).

So, my word for 2018 is going to be “juggle.”  There is going to be a ton of change in the next year.  We will leave Riyadh to return to DC.  I will start a new position.  Sara will find a new job.  We will move to a new house.  We will spend most of the first half of the year with one foot headed towards DC and the other foot planted here in Saudi Arabia.  Once we get back to the U.S., we have to balance work, kids, family, money, health.  The whole situation feels like one giant juggling act – a year spent to keeping all the balls in the air.

  • ·         Support Sara in her search for a new job in America
  • ·         Find a house and childcare that works for our family and our budget
  • ·         Pay off my student loans (with help from Public Service Loan Forgiveness)
  • ·         Visit 3 new countries and 1 new state (ND, WI, MI, MS, ME, VT, CT, AK, AR, RI)
  • ·         Attend at least two college/pro football games
  • ·         Attend at least two concerts
  • ·         Weigh under 200 lbs at the end of the year
  • ·         Spend at least 21 days with my dad or Sara’s mom.
  • ·         Complete a race of at least 10k/6 miles (I thought about making this a half-marathon, but I don’t think I can pull that off this year with the timing of our move).
  • ·         Go desert camping/glamping and see the stars
  • ·         Watch at least two sunrises and two sunsets
  • ·         Join an organization or board or volunteer with a group when I return to US
  •      Learn to juggle :)

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