2019 Recap and my 200th Post

Happy New Year everyone. This year we’re thankful to have wrapped up a relatively peaceful year, which was a goal of ours after many years of nearly constant major life changes like I wrote about here. I’m pretty sure we either moved, had a baby, changed jobs, or Kelly was pregnant every year for the entirety of the 2010s, with 2019 being the only much needed exception.

With our roots planted here in Virginia, everyone had a chance to settle into a good routine.

It was a big year for the kids. Jack took his First Communion and George was Baptized. Jack had a number of firsts for sports, like playing on the golf team, taking up tennis, and trying snowboarding, while continuing his soccer and basketball careers. Grace joined Jack on the school bus, starting kindergarten this past fall, and James started preschool.

In April, we had our wild Disney adventure, kicking off what we hope will be an annual opportunity to travel somewhere new each spring break.

The highlight of our year was probably Kelly and I starting to venture out with friends and families in our community. With our little ones getting a little bigger, we started to come out of our cave a bit this year. There was a fun couples get away to Boston, birthdays, nights out, and probably the most date nights we’ve had since the 00’s.

While we move past the baby phase, we’re moving into other challenges growing as parents. It’s true what other parents told us. Parenting ramps up in difficultly as the kids grow. It takes a good deal of energy to manage the day to day needs of an active and growing family. It can be exhausting. In addition to the challenges of the daily grind, we decided not to travel to our hometowns this year, even for the holidays like we normally do, which was a tough decision. 

Professionally, I was happy with my year. I have a great team that I’m supporting, and I was able to help out with a lot of interviewing, hiring, and training, which I think helped as our company had another strong year of growth. I earned a promotion in September, which felt really good after starting over in a new industry just 2.5 years prior.

I didn’t realize until I save this draft that this is my 200th blog post. I started writing in 2010, so it’s kind of fitting that I (almost) fit 200 posts neatly into a decade. I’ve written 160,000+ words (enough to fill 2 average sized books) and had 30,000 unique visitors.

When I think back on all of that writing the emotion I mostly feel is embarrassment, probably because most of the feedback I get is from certain friends breaking my chops every time I publish something. But I keep coming back to writing, mostly because writing is thinking, and after I write a post on a subject I understand it better, which is useful.

The blog has also become a time capsule of sorts. With my kids getting older, they can go back and read some posts that I wrote around the time they were born, so that’s pretty cool.

I tried to monetize the blog during the decade. I turned on Google Ads and I made somewhere around $0.50 in one month, which I think technically makes me a professional writer.

Thanks for reading. Here’s to a productive and peaceful 2020 and beyond for all of you.

With Love,

-John

 

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