Reflecting on 12 months of life while being a dad, a husband, and a business owner can feel extremely challenging. So much has changed in the last decade, let alone the previous year. I’ve accomplished a lot professionally and have taken on new responsibilities, but I’ve also faced challenges and setbacks. I’ve learned to be more patient, resilient, and understanding, with daily challenges to improve and be better in every role I have.
I’ve come to appreciate the value of meaningful connections and their role in our lives. In my personal life, we’ve moved to a new home and developed some new friendships, but I also lost touch with some people simply from a lack of time and energy. Professionally, I fully invested in projects and partners that disappeared overnight due to unexpected situations. Still, as a result, I’ve been able to work alongside some of the most innovative and creative clients I’ve had to date.
As I look ahead to my 35th year and beyond, I’m excited about what the future holds. I have new goals and unique experiences to pursue. Still, I know there will be unexpected twists and turns along the way, especially with a young daughter, a shifting business, and a shaky economy involved.
Most of all, I’m grateful for the people in my life, my health, and the opportunities I’ve had to grow and evolve. Here’s to making the most of this next year in my life.
What I learned:
Life comes and goes in seasons. Jobs, friends, projects, and people will come and go no matter how hard you try to keep them. There is power in being fully present in the current season, but always hold onto the belief that this season is not the end-all-be-all for you.
Having courage isn’t like riding a bike; it’s running a marathon. Being courageous isn’t a milestone you hit and then maintain for the rest of your life. Keep your axe sharpened and challenge yourself to grow your courage rather than accept a courageous moment as enough.
Time flies with your kids. In one year, Swayze went from crawling around and babbling to speaking total words and sprinting through our home. She’s learned how to ride her scooting bike, engaged in conversation, and shown empathy and compassion. She’s the joy of my life.
What I didn’t complete last year:
Camp out again. The real excuse here is time. Moving boxes of camping gear that have sat still for almost two years is heartbreak to me—hoping to carry this over into the following year.
Take the kayak out in the water. Moving a 13-foot kayak can be challenging. But it’s got to happen. We’ve moved closer to the water, so I am confident this will happen.
Learn how to make dumplings: I nearly crossed this off because I made some pre-made Trader Joe’s, but I’ll hold off for an authentic experience. Is anyone an expert here?
Fly in a private jet: This one was a bit of a shot in the dark, so I’m not surprised I didn’t fly in a private jet. But we can always hope, right?
The 36 Things to Do Before I Turn 36 list
- Master the charcuterie board
- Work with the right people
- Plant something
- Pitch the big idea
- Go ATP (pickleball)
- On the day – focus blocks
- Go back to Italy
- Take Swayze out on the town
- Install the looming water filter (3+ years and counting)
- Create more hospitality
- Write more content for the business
- Teach Swayze how to play a new sport
- More intentional phone calls
- Host coffee hours at home
- Go to Whiskey school
- Please stand up for yourself when it takes immense courage
- Try cold outreach for something of value
- Hang out with neighbors
- Plan intentional time for phone calls and visits
- Quit something that is draining or not life-giving
- Host more dinners and hangouts
- Learn the technical language
- Take your time on a special occasion. Open it up just because.
- Automate a process
- Queue up a day to relax without any work
- Clean up the book and find an illustrator
- Try a new coffee style/process
- Don’t forget to hike
- Make art with Swayze
- Declare a “manual labor” day
- Play basketball
- Make pasta from scratch
- Teach a lesson
- Smoke some meat or sell the gear.
- Teach more people how to play pickleball.
- Find a new collaborator and make something awesome.