Hello, friendly person! Happy Friday to a buddy! :)
So how's your first two weeks of 2022 treating you?
Are those new years goals happening? Are you enjoying exercising more? Drinking less alcohol? Removing yourself from nicotine? Staying off the social webs? Any other bad habits you've stopped? Anything new that you're trying to accomplish?
Being mindful of the new year, I can't help but pay attention to the things around me that usually take place after the first of the year. I try to look at the faces of the people I see walking or running on the streets. Are they new, or have they been after it for some time? The gym's are packed full with people too. So in my wanderings of random thoughts, usually while driving, I think about these things... all while not trying to creep on people.... or get in an accident. haha It will be interesting to see how things look come Valentine's day. Sadly, that's usually the start of the end for most people. Old habits are hard to kick, life takes over and we succumb to old practices - because they're easy... and the hard ones suck, progress is slow, and well, I just don't really care that much. I'm guilty of it too. I'm not a new years resolution person at all. Shit, I think I'm so random that it could be any day that I start something or try to stop doing something. I do enjoy the new year though. Largely because it does feel new and fresh. It reminds me of when I designed hospitals... we'd design them floor by floor from the bottom up. Once coordination would be halfway through the new floor I could feel the ADHD kicking in... ok, this is boring. yah, yah, i know... then the new floor would start... phew! glad that bitch is done!! ... things would feel fresh! "not gonna do that again"... let's approach it this way... ok awesome! things are nice and clean.. then the job would bring me down a floor and I'd be like - what the hell bro! this place is a mess... all to get halfway through the new floor and the same feelings kick in. That's when the hard work starts. It's not out of the gate that counts... it's sustaining the hard decisions, the decisions you made when you were mentally, socially, intentionally - sober. Now intoxicated (with whatever) you don't care so much. It's hard to stay on the path. Every year I love going through my finances of the year past.. (I know, hardcore nerd)... not to see how much money I've made, no. To see all the spending habits, good and bad. All the data piled into one excel file... super duper nerd! When I look at my data, I can see where I stopped caring about what was going on. .. a constant reminder - every year to try to sustain the care a little further than last time. As I near closer to the end of the year I spend a lot of energy on thinking about what I want to call the new year. I rename the spreadsheet to a purpose of what I want to accomplish. Last year, 2021, it was titled "Engage". It was a metaphoric kick in the ass to always be mindful that I needed to engage with the situation. Either being present and "with" a moment, answer a phone call that I didn't want to take, or, tackle something head on whether it was difficult, emotional, or simply that I didn't want to do it. I needed to "Engage". While engaging with the present, It was important to not forget the years that brought me to this point. And it's been a while... this year marks 14 years.
Looking back, I can remember where I was in life and how that worked out. Like looking at an old floor design of the hospital project, seeing the data from times past, I can remember what it was like. It makes for a humbling experience. With a new year comes new plans and intentions. I've done this enough to know that I don't need to overwhelm myself with an ass ton of things to do/not do.
So I keep it simple.. I limited it to two things.
One: stop drinking like I had for the last 3 years.
I was a regular 5-6 shots of my buddy Jose..... every. single. day. Not to get ripped, it was like mowing the lawn.. "man! I want a victory beer!"... after a gud handyman job, I was ready! looking at my data, I flagged 960 hours last year. Which works out to be exactly 24 weeks at 40 hours a day. That's 6 months of additional work on top of the real estate life... So I had my fair share of Jose. hahah Christmas eve being the winner at 15 shots. :) Wrapping presents and watching Die Hard. I didn't lose my cookies, I wasn't sauced like a frat party. Just, super. duper. chill. I'm happy to report, I've been dry since. :) Longest in 3 years. Side note: talking about it like this keeps me honest and transparent - I'm not bragging. It's a problem.
Second: define time.
At 40 years old, I've become a victim of my own efforts. Up until a couple years ago, life for me was all about surviving and self discovery. Since I graduated college and stepped into the real world unsheltered from parents, school, and kid stuff, I've had a day job and picked up CAD/design jobs on the side. Once we became parents, I worked even more so Chas could be at home for the boys. I started businesses while having my day job. Closed a number of them... and started them over. Prior to self employment, I was always paid salary w/no bonuses. No matter the effort, the same financial outcome. So when I created financial messes, and there have been a lot of them, the only way to clean them up was to work more, no matter the pain of the grind. When I revisit the names of the years prior, I can see exactly that.. 2008 - Profitable Fundage (I was 26, Avin was 3. Tristan wasn't even born) I started intentionally looking at the $... I just closed two businesses and started my first one solo. 2010 - New Start (I was 28, Avin was barely 5, Tristan would be born in May 2010) I don't remember why "New Start"... but maybe it was subliminal, or maybe I was looking at things financially realistic for the first time... we would end up short-selling our house in August, which turned into a new start. Growth and self awareness would continue. 2015 - Ever Forward (I was now 33 and had a number of years of intentional habits established.) Finances had finally cleaned up. Things were comfy, and with that comfort, I decided to pursue real estate. I did this at the cost of turning down my dream job working at DPR. A "General Contractor" who leads hospital design/building projects... I had to have the courage to turn down job opportunities multiple times... DPR's motto was "Ever Forward".. you can imagine how hard it was to say no... Again, in August, I left the W2 world and dove right into straight commission only having 2.5 months worth of savings. Up until last year, 2021, every year following 2015 was entirely about survival all while fighting the urge to quit. I can see that reminder in the names of the years... Where I am today, I'm proud of the struggles and pain to pull it off. I guess with that kind of wisdom, survivability is more likely than it was 7 years ago. Although I've been present as best I can, the habits of survival have been hard to adjust. The flywheel of effort is spinning so fast that I don't know where to put my hands. The safest way for me to continue pushing the flywheel is to simply not spin it. I need to let the momentum slow down to a safe spot, then, no pun intended, engage with it again. While it's spinning down, I can watch the efforts of years past work effortlessly. I now have calm moments to step back and truly process what I am seeing. Not moving the flywheel makes me uncomfortable. I know not doing something is sometimes as important as doing something. But it is not easy. I oftentimes feel like an old grandpa who can now afford 12 high dollar nail guns in a single purchase, yet he still takes the time to bend a bent nail straight to save it for another project. He's mentally and emotionally conditioned to bend them, even though he doesn't have to. I don't think I will ever stop the habits of what I do because of the path I've chosen... throwing away bent nails just feels wrong. But somewhere along the way one must slow down and smell the roses.. Smell the roses your kids have picked... Taste the roses your bride has created... See the roses you've planted... See them beyond the garden...
Teach others how to plant their roses... Educate yourself on the differences between roses... Look at other people's roses and learn from them... Feel the dirt in your hands as you plant the seeds for the next roses... None of this will happen unless you define the time in your life to make things happen. It's been a long haul for me reacting to time... Where I am today, it's time to define time for 2022. Define time ________. There's only so much, make it count. What roses are you planting? Have a grateful weekend! :)