Wow is it really that time again? Time to end another year and start the next.

It really seems strange to say goodbye to 36 and hello to 37. I think saying 37 seems so odd to me as it is that much closer to 40 and 30 seems so long ago.

This past year was one of the big ups and big downs. The family road trip that we took from Minnesota to Maine last summer was a huge success and the kids had a blast. In fact, the fear of the 26-hour car ride was very eventless as there wasn’t much complaining by the kids (or parents) at all on the way out or the 2-day trek back. Our family is definitely ready to hit the road again and are making plans for a West Coast trip in 2019.

This past year I did do a good job of slowing my own busy schedule down in a couple of areas (Slowing Down to Redirect). I am going to continue to focus on this going forward as I want to challenge myself in the time I spend in various side/volunteer projects and make sure I am getting out of it what I would expect.

However, this year brought on more sadness as 13-year-old Yorkshire Terrier PJ passed away and now for the first time in 14 years, we don’t have any pets in the house. It feels very quiet and I do miss having a four-legged friend following me around from time to time but I am not ready to get another one yet.

Additionally, not long after that, I had to say goodbye to my Grandma as well. It is not the first death I have ever had to deal with but it was one of the firsts where I actually went to see her days before and tell her goodbye in person. When the person is completely coherent and knows she is waiting for the time, it makes it that much more surreal when you take a step back. There is always things you wish you would have done with the person or talked to the person about before that point but it give you one last chance to say something to them that you know they are hearing and responding to you about.

Right after both of those sad events, I pretty much boarded a plane and had to spend two weeks in Germany on a work trip. I felt bad leaving my wife and kids for so long but it was an experience that I really enjoyed and can’t wait to take my wife to Germany in the future. Almost all of the trip was work-related but over the weekend I spent my time in Cologne which was amazing. It is mind-blowing how much history can be in one city and how far back some of the buildings (and ruins under the city) date. My last whole week in Germany was spent working in our Berlin office, that also was also very interesting as there is so much history in that city from WWI, WWII and the Berlin Wall. In fact, it was interesting just talking to the people at my company that lived through the time the wall was up and how it affected their families.

Towards the end of 2017 and into the start of 2018, my new word that will carry me through is focus. I guess you could say year 37 will be the year of focusing… On what you ask? Nothing particular and everything :)

I am looking forward to what 37 will now bring to me I know there will probably be new adventures and changes of some sort. Describing it as the year of focus will definitely mean that certain things will need to change as I am focusing in on various areas of my life that are most important to me. As always some changes will be quick and others will be a long game approach but setting the steps today for later down the road.

I look forward to checking in next year…

Previously: 35, 36 ..