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Much Catching Up to Do

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Man, it has been a long time since I’ve written in here. Not since my grandfather died back in 2014 have I made an entry, and I’ve had a ridiculous amount of things go on in my life since then.

Where to begin…

On my birthday in September of 2014, I was outside using the telescope my wife, Ashley, bought me while she was taking a bath. I was pretty amped-up because I was learning how to use the thing, and seeing things I had never seen before. I walked into the house to brag to Ashley about the the amazing detail I was seeing on the moon when she drops a bomb on me:

“I think I’m pregnant.”

Of course, she had actually taken a pregnancy test and knew she was pregnant. This was a shock to both of us, really. It wasn’t because we weren’t trying — we actually HAD been trying for several months and had started to resign ourselves to the idea that maybe it wasn’t in the cards for us.

So, we have a baby boy now. It’s pretty crazy. He will be eight months old in a couple weeks.

I’d like to give you the cliche “don’t know where the time has gone” comment but frankly, this has been a LONG eight months for us. To go from not being sure you can have kids to being a parent in nine months is a pretty big transformation, and call me crazy but I feel and remember every second of it in real-time.

You’re proud a lot. You’re happy a lot. You’re frustrated a lot. You laugh a lot and you cry a little (don’t tell anyone) but the weirdest thing is how life is so different every day. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out and get yourself into a routine, everything changes.

We’ve barely scraped the surface of this thing, though. I’m really excited for what’s to come.

The Utility Industry is A-Changin’

Let’s shift gears a little bit. Work is going great! I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but I got promoted a while back –I guess back in November of 2013. Not a huge deal, but a lot more responsibility.

Unlike 20 or 30 years ago, the utility industry is going through a major transformation. With the threat of legitimate competition from 3rd party solar generation, utilities are having to become leaner and more efficient than ever. Customers are increasingly demanding cleaner energy and cheaper energy, which of course are two conflicting ideas but it is the challenge we’ve been given.

Often times over the last couple years, I feel as much like a politician at work than just a financial analyst. There are so many interesting projects floating around, and my personality is to want to be a part of it all. I “sell” my services in the elevator on a regular basis, and I’m good at it.

“Aren’t you leading up ‘such-and-such’ project? That sounds exciting! I know at some point you’re going to need someone to run the numbers. Give me a call, sometime!”

I’m at the point in my career where it isn’t about progression or positioning for a promotion. It is honestly about me being excited to be a part of new and different things. The utility industry is a-changin’, and I love it! I love being a part of it.

We are changing the world. Think about it.

I don’t know if I’m just in the perfect industry or if I’m just the type of personality that would get this excited about any industry I found myself a part of, but it’s a fun way to be.

I got fat. I hate being fat.

I stepped on the scale last Sunday to find out that I was as heavy as I’d ever been. 249.6 pounds… let’s just call it 250. Every time I say my measurements in my head, I giggle a little bit because it reminds me of the Assistant Football Coach from Dazed and Confused:

“Hell, man. My grandmother is bigger and tougher than you pansies. Course she’s 6’3, 250. Runs a 4.5 forty.”

Coach’s grandma is a little leaner than me, though, because technically I’m 6’2.

Okay… 6’1 and 3/4. Whatever.

I’m not huge or anything, but 250 pounds is pretty heavy for anyone who isn’t freakishly tall. I’ve got an arsenal of excuses, but the reality is that I just went through a period of time where I honestly didn’t care that much. Busy with work, busy with a new baby, busy with my home business, and no cares left to give about being fat.

So last Monday I started caring again. I’m down about 10 pounds through today, one week later. Mostly water weight, of course. When you cut your sodium intake by about 75% for the first time in years, your body drops a lot of water that first week. Even still, I’m pretty stoked to have put ten pounds away from being 250 again.

I’m not dieting or anything… just watching my calories to make sure I’m not putting 3,000 of them in my body every day. Trying not to eat when I’m bored, etc.

It’s election year… so that’s always fun.

All of my friends know that I hate politics. I understand them just fine, but I hate what politics does to people. I have seen some of the nicest, most genuinely good people from my past become absolutely unapproachable due to their almost militant political views. They become so sure that everyone on “the other side” are delusional and evil that they can actually justify prejudice and hateful behavior against random strangers because of it.

I guess I’ve just always believed that everyone has good intentions when it comes to politics. Sometimes it’s hard to understand exactly how their intentions are good, but everyone wants to perpetuate what they think is the right thing to do. I always liken it to parenting. Two sets of parents might take a completely different approach to parenting, but they share a common goal of raising good and successful children. To me, most political rhetoric is like trying to convince the world that the other guy doesn’t love his kids because he raises them differently. The logic just feels insane, to me.

At any rate, I’m gearing up for a year of reading hate-filled Facebook posts and trying to bite my tongue while trying to keep my faith that human decency really is still alive and well.

For anyone taking the time to read this, just remember that you’re in charge of your own destiny. Politics can influence your odds of being successful, but the onus will always be 95% on yourself to forge your own path. Being hateful and turning your friends and acquaintances into enemies in the name of politics really doesn’t do anybody any good. These politicians wouldn’t wreck their own friendships for you — don’t wreck yours for them.

New Year, New Me

I can’t even begin to tell you everything I’m working on right now. I’ve got 34 mobile applications I’m trying to keep up with along with two websites in my spare time (which is waning as of late). I’m concentrating on professional development at work this year, leading up to some pretty big opportunities coming up in 2017 for me (more to come on those, soon), and obviously trying to be as good of a husband and father as I can be. Oh, and the weight-loss thing, too. Trying to not let political junk bother me. Trying to be a little more outgoing.

I don’t believe in resolutions. I believe in reinventing yourself as often as you need to.

Thanks for reading. Drop me a line if you want to “shoot the breeze.”