Thursday, November 19, 2015

Epic Wedding

Well, I'm married now.

That's me beside the girl in the white dress.

I'm still busy, but in different ways. I won't write a lot about marriage, or my wife, at this time. I'm still figuring things out. Different responsibilities, different busy-ness. But it's all good. I'm away from home doing some training for my new job, and with not much to do in my off time I thought I'd put this picture up for you to admire.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Free At Last

I am officially finished my managerial role at my company. It was a good 2 years. I made drastic improvements, increased profitability and organized a change that affected the market to such a degree the final results won't be known for another year or so. I don't usually brag online but I did a good job. I received a lot of thank you letters from my employees. Some I hired had no experience in this field but have excelled and are now valuable assets to this company. Some have changed their future career plans because I found their strengths and matched them with responsibilities that challenged and rewarded them. It was a good experience. It played to my strengths. Unfortunately there was no off switch. I was constantly on call, overseeing many employees, many customers and many side projects. Since my departure my position has had its responsibilities reduced for my replacement and many of my duties have been shed to 3 other managers. Basically, my job is now done by four people. I always suspected I was doing more than should be required of a single person.

The stress is what eventually forced my hand. I was never free from work. With a cell phone and access to the internet I was at work 24/7. And this is an industry that operates 24/7 so I was never free. Even at times where there was nothing to be done, my mind was always on work, on loads, on budgets and balance sheets and schedules. For the first time in 2 years I can now go off the grid and not feel guilty. It took me 2 weeks off just to decompress. The human body (and mind) were not designed for modern day corporate life. I am excited again. I am excited for new and different challenges. I am excited to go swimming and not worry if my cell phone is unattended. I am excited to have free time with no responsibilities. I am excited to live the rhythms of life closer to what God intended.

Inhale. Exhale.

I am transitioning to a new but familiar role within the company. The long term benefits are somewhat financial, but more importantly they offer a better lifestyle. I have been looking for more free time, less stress, less responsibilities, more fun. I'm getting married in 3 weeks and I want a job that is conducive to being a husband and eventually a father. I've been trying to move in this direction for a while now, even before marriage seemed like a reality. It's amazing to think all these things are falling in to place.

Friday, July 31, 2015


I'm looking at reducing the complication of things in my life.

We don't really need that many things to exist in this life. Most of us definitely have more than enough. I never really got sucked into the materialistic wave of accumulation. Even though I fight the urge to add new toys and gadgets and things to my life I have still managed to collect a lot of things. My brief time in the Ukraine definitely has a lingering effect on my life. I was shocked with how little people had in the former communist state. When I returned to North America I was shocked and overwhelmed by the "stuff". There were useless "things" everywhere and everyone had to have them. It almost made me sick.

Growing up, mom and dad had a "thing" for everything. Too many kitchen appliances/utensils/things. Too many tools. Too many pictures and decorations. Too many hardware related items. Bar stools in storage for 20 years because they may be needed one day. Broken record players and 8-track stereos that were fixable, although what was the point? And sheds, garages, extra buildings, basements used to store it all.

And all those things require time and money to fix and maintain and store. It's just not worth it.

There seems to be a movement today to return to some sort of minimalist living. I'm not hopping on a band wagon though. I'd like to think I'm ahead of the crowd. I don't feel like I need to adhere to all the rules popping up like:

-You can only own 100 things
-If you haven't used it in 6 weeks get rid of it
-You're not allowed to travel
-You can't own a vehicle

But I don't find it necessary to own kitchen items like a rice maker that I'll use a couple times a year when a simple pot would do. I don't think I need 2 scales, or 10 vases, or 3 guitars, 12 pairs of shoes, etc. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Delayed Gratification

Accepting something good instead of waiting for something great.

Delayed gratification isn't easy. Watch this:

Even these kids know that delayed gratification makes sense, but they still succumb to the temptation of the marshmallow. There's a lot of "marshmallows" in life. I've been working on my "marshmallows" lately. Funny enough, marshmallows are some of my marshmallows. It's not that I could have had more later if didn't have fewer now. The whole idea is that we will take minimal pleasure from some thing now at the expense of a greater reward later. Intellectually we all know it is a bad decision, but we want our marshmallows now.

Willpower.  There's a lot that's been said about will power. I won't bother writing about that now. I'll just say that it is the ability to make the preferred decision regardless of outside influences.

I've been using my willpower to eat better lately. A little over 3 months ago I was 206 pounds. I haven't touched a donut in over 2 months. I've eaten a lot of spinach and kale. And nothing happened for the first while. But I kept making long term decisions instead of accepting short term gratification. No donuts. One month ago I was 196 pounds. One week ago I was 185. By the end of summer I'll be a much healthier 175. The result of my decisions will have taken 4 or 5 months to fully appear, but it will be much more satisfying than a summer of donuts. I'm sure my 70 year old self will thank me.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Weight

A little over 3 months ago I was 206 pounds. Today, I'm hovering around 186. I've lost 20 pounds. It wasn't easy. It was will power. I've been donut free for a little over 2 months now. That was not an easy task. I averaged about 2 donuts per day last year. This year my total donut count is at 44.When I made the decision to get back in to shape, I decided to limit my donut intake to 10 donuts per month. I exceeded that limit about 3 weeks in to the year. But, seven months later, its amazing to see the difference a few less donuts can make. I'm writing this entry wearing a shirt I haven't worn in over a year, because it didn't fit until today. I'm not so concerned about my weight as I am my health, but weight is a good indicator of my health so it is the thing I choose to measure. By the end of the month I hope to be under 180 pounds for the first time in a couple years. After that, I may end up gaining weight as I exercise and build muscle mass. Once that happens I think I'll transition from solely weight to waste size and weight.

See you at 180!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

VBS Again

I've taken a week off work to help with VBS again this year. It's good. I definitely needed time away from work. This year I am helping with the pre-school kids as well as the grade school kids. That's something new for me. I like it. The kids are so fun. I was a bit nervous as I usually work with older children but this was something that came much more naturally to me than I thought.

I'm going to be so tired by the end of this vacation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I've been busy but things are good.

I'm moving in to a new position at work which should buy more free time. Today was supposed to be a day off work. But I got called. I was called on my day off. I was called yesterday morning at 6am. I was called on Sunday. I have a problem. I'm good at what I do. Even when I'm not supposed to be working, work will track me down for my expertise. The problem with work is that, although it is made of good people, as an organization it will always take what it can from its employees. The problem with me is that I let it. I'm learning to set boundaries. I'm learning to do the same thing in my relationships so I can stay healthy. I find it really difficult asking others for what I need. But that's changing. Today was a good day, despite work tracking me down. I said no to things that wanted my time because I didn't have time to give.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I don't know where the time has gone. It's almost June. The days are brighter and longer. I like it.

Life is still too busy. Unfortunately I've been too busy lately to get less busy. Is that a Catch 22 or just an excuse?

Volleyball is almost over. I won't be playing on a team this Summer. That will free up some time. Junior and Senior High Youth Groups will be happening every other week starting in July so that will free up another night during the week. I'm not sure if my small group will be continuing through the Summer. And my C&C group starts to slow down in the Summer as well. I may finally catch my breathe. I just need to make sure I don't ramp it all up again in the fall. This Friday I'm doing a sleep over with kids transitioning into Junior High Youth. In July I am taking a week off work to help with our Preschool and Elementary School VBSes.

Then in October I'm getting married. Crazy. There will be a two week honeymoon in Europe and then I'm back at it again. And that's life.

And unrelated to the rest of this entry, but I'm 195 pounds now.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

House Keeping

It's been a while.

I've been busy. As usual. Most distractions good, some tedious, few necessary.

Let's see. I restructured my company. It got bought out by our parent company and largest share holder.

I'm down to 197 pounds. I was up to 206, which is the most I've ever weighed in my life. I've been very sedentary lately and eating a lot. However, I haven't touched a doughnut in 3 weeks. Previous to that I would average 1-2 doughnuts per day. Any way, I'm scheduled to run a half marathon in a month so I should probably start training for that.

I got engaged 3 weeks ago. That's cool.

Now I'm on a big push to simplify my life because things are going to get a lot more complicated this next year.

Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

20 pounds

I've reached my goal. I'm not sure why it was a goal. I think as a little boy I always wanted to weight more than my dad. Today I'm 202 pounds. He's under 200. I win! I'm not sure how the last 20 pounds snuck up on me though. One day all my clothes felt tighter. My new goal is to lose 20 pounds. I know its easier said than done. I'm a stress eater, and work has been stressful. But I will do it. And I'll use this blog to track my success. Here we go.