Not about taxes (originally published April 15, 2013)

This is not about taxes.  It isn’t about taxes because I got mine filed in March.  My wife was upset that this wasn’t done in February, or even sooner.  I can’t blame her, she’s always had her returns done in January.  The new rules make it so that brokerage firms have until mid-february to give you your tax info.  Additionally, life in complicated enough we had to pull many, many forms together.

Anyway, we got it done, and this post is not about taxes.  It’s about Spring break.

Last week, I sent a note out at the office informing them of my vacation and how surprised I was to go to Lake Chelan for Spring Break.  Chelan is beautiful in the summer, but cold, wet, and dreary in the spring.  So is Seattle.  When I was younger I thought of Spring Break as a wonderful time to take a break and get someplace warm.  Chelan is not warm, but it’s where I am.

Vicky and I got the boys for all of Spring Break, and opted to head off to spend the week at my mom’s in Lake Chelan.  We recently bought a mini-van.   We bought it because we’re about to add a baby to our world, but it did cross our minds that we’d be driving the boys for four hours.  I won’t say they were perfect angels on the drive, but the mini-van does have a DVD player and they were often quiet and engaged.

After driving for several hours, getting the boys to bed, unpacking, then getting them all organized and active here in Chelan, I am exhausted.  This trip is work!  It’s not even the fun part of work.  I’d stressed, out of comfort zone, and I feel behind in my life.  This is no way to spend Spring Break!

I resolve for the rest of my break to 1) relax, 2) think of the things that make me happy, and 3) take this time to enjoy hanging with my boys.  I think I’m going to go wrestle with them right now.

I am overflowing with creativity and I only wrote this post (originally published April 13, 2013)

Creativity is a funny thing.   The story goes that one has “vivid moments of inspiration” and goes on to pen the great American novel.  My experience seems to clash with reality.  In my household, we make movies as a family.  Each kid takes a turn writing the script, then we film it all together.  It’s always a blast.  When I put aside time to edit the films together, I love every minute of it and find my creative juices flowing.  For none of those moments did inspiration strike me like a bolt of lightning.  I put time on my calendar, made a cup of coffee, and got to work.

So, that’s the trick isn’t it?  Instead of waiting for the right moment when all the pieces fall into place, I need to make time to start moving pieces around.

This year I attended Norwescon for the third time.  This was one of my favorite times, as I know what to expect and how to make the most of it.  I walked away reminded that writing doesn’t just happen, it has to be worked on regularly and in a focused manner.  I have a goal of 500 words a day.  This doesn’t seem like much but it’s amazing how hard it is right now.  I imagine this is simply a factor of being new to the discipline.

Being an adult (originally published March 18, 2013)

I think I have felt more like an adult in the last month than in most of my previous life.  The first major item is that Vicky and I are having a baby!  For most of you, this is not news.  It took us many months and many thousands of dollars to conceive this baby, so many of our friends and family knew we were pregnant at the five day mark.  Regardless, it took me six months to realize that this was really happening and our life was going to be different.  Given that I have two boys already, you think this wouldn’t be surprising.  It is still surprising, and my previous experience has only left me slightly more ready for this child than the previous two.

The second item was refinancing our house.  While I guess this is a common thing, usually people need to buy a house before refinancing.  In my case, I bought and refinanced at the same time.  Vicky and her ex husband owned a house together and hadn’t gotten around to changing the paperwork yet.  I’ve been living here over a year now, paying the mortgage, mowing the lawn, that kind of stuff.  We finally jumped on the chance to refinance, got David off the mortgage and deed, and signed me up.  This house is mine now.  It’s almost starting to feel like home.

The third item was buying a minivan.  Let me tell you, only adults buy minivans.  We only buy minivans in order to lug kids, pets, and stuff places.  Our minivan, seem from the outside, is nice but nothing special.  Once you get inside, though, my lord it’s like a mini Space Shuttle without the tang.  The boys were brainstorming names for the minivan.  We started talking about ninjago and “Sensei Wu”.  Should we name the minivan Sensei Wu?  No, but what did they name it?  Sensei Awesome!  They even told me that my Honda Accord was no longer the cool car, but they did agree it’s still “tough” and can keep the name “Black Mamba”.  By the way, the black mamba isn’t black, in case you didn’t know.

Once I realized that I was fully an adult what was the first thought that crossed my mind?  Oh well, no Dragoncon this year either.  Maybe next year.

Starting anew (originally published March 4, 2013)

I’m not sure the connection, but I find that when I’m running I am blogging.  Maybe it is because that today’s date is an imperative (March Forth!), or maybe it is because the sun is shining, but after months on the back burner I’m back in action.

In 2011 I met a fantastic lady.  Prior to meeting her, I had just gotten out of a relationship which convinced me that I would never get married again.  It was too hard to balance being a dad, establishing myself in a new career, running, writing, and putting in the time that a relationship takes to be successful.   Don’t get me wrong, the girl I was dating was wonderful.  We had good times together, and I was glad to have her in my life.  I just didn’t think we could make it all work.  So we broke up.

Then I met Vicky.

We connected right away, and within weeks were talking about moving in together.  We were married on February 4, 2012, and are expecting a little girl at the end of May.  It feels like we’ve been together forever, that I’ve always known her.   She’s my best friend, and partner.

I stopped running in 2012.  I say I stopped because Vicky asked me to stop since marathon training took so much time and we were busy joining our families.  In reality, I got bored and wasn’t losing any weight.  As far as being bored, I looked in my running log and realized I put in about 2,000 miles in two years.  I feel like I had run out the demons that came with the divorce, and didn’t need that outlet anymore.  As far as losing weight went, I’d run two full marathons, trained for a third, and ran seven half marathons.  At the end of all that running, I found that I gained five pounds.  I couldn’t put anything more into running, I needed to switch things up.

I started lifting weights, and I have had great results.  I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been, and had to buy new pants and belts because they were too big for me.  Taking 2012 off from running was the right call.  Then came 2013.

I see 5K races start out my front door, I see my friends becoming mentors, coaches, and captions of marathon teams, and I sponsor my coworkers in their own marathon training fund raisers.  I bought new shoes.

I took them out for the first time last weekend.  I started out slow, which is tough, but I don’t want shin splints or tired ankles.  Then, once I loosened up, I really opened up and found myself flying on the pavement.  It was fantastic!  The bug is back.  This time I run to reign in my thoughts.  This time I run to be present in the world.  This time I run for the future, and not for the past.