What another year it has been. It has been an interesting year and still busy as always. I keep thinking to myself that I should start these days, if not a month or so before my actual birthday but I feel there is something blocking me off from this time to reflect quickly and jot some things down. It is not to say I haven’t thought about it but I also don’t want this to feel like work or something I have to do. I want it to be something I want to do, so that is why I am doing it now while watching some snow fall and drinking some coffee.

A mug with “ADVENTURE awaits” text is resting on a wooden surface, with a snowy residential view seen through a window in the background.

This year was a really fun year at our seasonal camping spot. Between my wife and kids, I feel like someone was there as much as they possibly could be all summer long. I came back and worked from home during the weeks, typically with a kid or two (depending on activities), and went down earlier on weekends or sometimes took a Monday off and came back Monday night or Tuesday early. It has been a really enjoyable time down there this year by having more space in the new to us camper and just giving us a place to get away and not worry about things in our actual house. It then really feels like a weekend with no plans, versus if we would have been around our house, I would find odd projects and feel like I need to get stuff done there.

Another quick fun thing that happened this past year was April’s brother got married and we all were able to spend time as a larger family for a weekend. Not only was that awesome, but the wedding was at April’s parents’ house overlooking the pond on their property. Besides the sweltering heat, it was just a lovely time. Down in Ollie, IA for April’s brother’s wedding at her parents’ farmhouse.

As of the first of this year, my parents moved up to Minnesota which has already been great. We have been able to see them more, and they have been able to come to so many more kid events than before they would not have been able to. I don’t think they will be busy anytime soon with 6 grandkids in all kinds of activities. It was a little strange when I was back at my parents’ house in December, knowing that this town I grew up in and this house I grew up in will probably be one of the last times I am here. Not that I won’t go back for my reunions from time to time, but other than that, I have less of a pull to head back that way. I am good with closing that chapter of my life and excited that my kids will have a new different relationship with my parents as they live so close. Now I just have more boxes of stuff they have dropped off and I am slowly working throughout in my shed office.

For me personally over this past year, I don’t have too much to report, as I didn’t really do much but try to keep running as I have but didn’t really do any big races but found a trail race in the fall that was just fun as there were no expectations. As I type this today after a really long run yesterday, I actually don’t have any plans for the upcoming year, which I know I really need to start thinking about. I guess for now I will just refer back to Brendan Leonard of Semi-Rad’s philosophy called The Zen of Running I will “put in the miles so I can…. put in the miles so I can…”

Last year this time I was thinking of focusing on connections, and I am not 100% sure I really did it complete justice at this point. However, from a work perspective, I have over the course of the last couple of months been trying to double down on it. I think it is the one thing that makes 100% virtual work hard is you can’t have as many chance visits. So, starting and since my visit in December, I have made it a point to find people in the office and/or let some of the local people know I am around. I need to force myself to do this with some friends of mine, as sometimes in the throes of the weeks I can still make too many excuses.

For this next year Resilience will be the theme, and my family has taken a liking to it as well. I actually a couple weeks back wrote this exact quote down on a piece of paper and put it in the kitchen for the kids to see every day (well and myself).

“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up." Mary Holloway.

Previously: 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42