Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - The year I mopped up

I've been so busy that blogs have been few and far between so there must be a ton of stuff to write about regarding the calendar year.  There isn't.  No major highlights really...just a lot of maintenance.

I spent the prior year taking care of an estate, mourning the loss of my mother, dealing with family, training up two creative boys, working a more-than-full-time job and published a book.  I could point to a 'thing' that was accomplished at every highlight last year.  But not in 2013.  This is the year I swept up sawdust, mopped up muddy footprints and knocked down cobwebs.  This was not nearly as fun to write about but this is what life often is in the age of crafting the image of living well.

I worked a lot this year.  I had many 50+ hour weeks working on things and at the end of the year I made a little less than I did the year before.  I made a little less than I did in 2009.  This should be enough evidence for you to imagine at least one thing I'll be doing in 2014.  

I got my reading schedule back with my kids.  It's been a transition now that they occupy the same bedroom and I've struggled to find reading time before bed that will keep their attention.  I decided to read above both of their levels and just let them listen to me destroy great literature with my own poor reading level.  We read The Golden Key by George MacDonald and I was amazed how they sat and listened to 19th Century prose.  We found ourselves discussing the story and unveiling the meaning of seldom used words and expressions.  We read poetry and talked about beautiful words that are used deliberately as if each one was carefully placed.  They listened.  

On my 7 year old son's Spring Break I took him to San Diego.  Why?  He wanted to see great sailing ships and we did.  Lots of them.  We toured the harbor and crawled around every ship we had time to see.

The HMS Surprise from the movie Master and Commander

We went to San Diego Zoo Safari Park and met up with my brother, who lived in Orange County, to celebrate his birthday.  In all, it was a nice time for my son.  I had fun but the kind of fun you have when a seven year old is your travelling partner.  We were gone 5 days but it felt like two weeks.  My wife continued to work so she had one less person to manage.  Not sure who had the better time.

Overcast but warm.  Better than Puget Sound in Spring

The downstairs of my house is painted.  Some kind of red and some kind of buttery cream something or other.  I'm colorblind.

I wanted to run this year and get in better shape.  This is a bit hard to do if you don't like running in the rain...and I don't.  I did run this year.  I ran over 400 miles this year.  I don't have any goals to run more.  I only limited myself based on how much time I had, not how tired I was.  My days are tightly scheduled and it doesn't take much to get something canceled.  I didn't cancel running very often.

I spent more time alone with my 3 year old son.  I did this on purpose because my older son had the benefit of alone time more often...because...well...he was alone.  Every time I could I'd take him places and we'd talk and get to know each other.  He wasn't forced to react to something his brother was doing, he just got to be himself.  I plan to do this a ton more.

Always capable but still needs a drink lid

Oh yeah...I cut about a foot and a half of hair off of my kid's melons.  I had fun sharing these before and after shots.

Rock Monkeys
Civilized Monkeys

I sat and talked one day with an older man I've known for a few years but never knew much about his life story.  His life included running away from home, riding the rails hobo style and finally joining the Marines to go fight in Korea.

While travelling around as a boy, he drew comic books which featured his hero character Tom Baron.  50 years later, his comic books were digitized straight from the pages he drew them on.  Click here to see the list of his comic books and you can click on any of the covers to see them in the digital viewer.

Seriously, sometimes you have to shut up and just listen to people.

During the Summer I was working with my 7 year old on the subject of radio, and in particular old-time-before-television radio.   He thought it sounded boring but I challenged him to write his own radio show...and he did.  He wrote four episodes of "Rory's Old Tyme Radio" which featured some of his first attempts at story telling.  I handled the grunt work of production but he worked hard to direct the structure of the scenes and sounds.  They may show up in a future project I'll be working on.  He plans to do more radio shows, but he also plans to play with his Legos...so ya know.

Podcasting for me has been on hold though I've been seriously toying with the idea of creating a new show.  I have more ideas than I have time or help to achieve anything at this point but it's on my mind.  Contact me if you're interested.

I started writing projects and they are in various degrees of stoppage due to me having enough time to write but only enough energy left to stare blankly at the monitor.  I know now not to be frustrated by this, but instead turn these down times into preparation.

So that's it...I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane of the last calendar year.  My wish for you, as you replace your cute kitten calendars, is that you make the most of 2014....do stuff, love those around you and shut up and listen on occasion.

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