January 1 2015 marks 7 years since I quit my job.
I sat down to write a year in review, because I've been feeling like 2015 is rather without a target. There are no major events, no major travel plans, and no major races by which to measure the year. So I decided that to know where to go, I needed to think hard about where I'd been. As I started, the 7 year anniversary jumped out at me like a beacon. In many traditions, seven is a very auspicious number and I feel that I need to celebrate that success and look on this next year as one of infinite posibility rather than rudderless drifting.
So without further ado,
The single most important event in 2014 was Ironman Whistler. The entire year revolved around that event. From how much I worked (training 20 hours a week cramps your work style), to how I chose contracts (i.e. I chose not to get new ones after May), to where we travelled (besides Disney), but most importantly to how I stayed fit this year.
Fitness has become such an integral part of our life that much of what we do revolves around it. It is something we do for our own sanity, it's something we do to teach our kids good habits, it's something we do to ward off the fear of a disabled old age. It's a fundamental driver, but like everyone, it can be hard to get up everyday and put the work in. A BHAG like Ironman is a good way to scare yourself into activity, but this year I trained differently: higher intensity, less volume. The ultimate result was a personal best on a ridiculously hard course. Success.
But more importantly, through Faye's help, it led me to discover habits and tools that will carry forward into 2015. 2014 was a Beachbody year. Faye became a coach this year, and the products she introduced me to T25, 21 Day fix, Piyo and most importantly Shakeology brought my training to a new level and more importantly, supercharged my recovery and rebuild. 2015 will be a "base" year, but one with a total committment to HIIT using Beachbody. Insanity Max:30 here I come.
One of the measures of success in my world, is my ability to see new places. By any measure, 2014 was a good year. As a Christmas gift to the kids in 2013, we gave the them suitcases with a token ticket to Disney World. So, at the end of March this year we winged off for 10 days tromping around Universal Studios, Lego land and Disney World.
Upon our return, training kicked into high gear as I peaked for Ironman. The race itself was in Whistler at the end of July. I've spent very little time in Whistler, but over my last two visits I've come to know it as a truly wonderful town. Much like Penticton, it is special to me in a way that only an Ironman can elicit. That said, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Because two wonderful people got married this year, Ironman was followed by a wandering trip through the coasts and interior of BC. We had a wonderful visit with uncle, aunt and great-grandma in Vancouver. We luxuriated in the slowness of time in Saltspring. We revelled in brothers, sisters and cousins in Nanaimo. And then we celebrated a new brother in Kelowna. All in all, a wonderful August.
Through my work at the credit union, I also had the opportunity to visit the east coast of Canada for the first time. I had the opportunity to travel to Charlottetown, PEI, Moncton NB and one of my favorite Canadian cities Ottawa ON. There is nothing quite so lovely and quaint as Eastern Canada.
I had a personal goal of writing more in 2014. If you're reading this, then you've probably noticed that the volume of posts on the blog this year has been higher than most. My goal was to write every weekday all year. I started late and quit early, but nonetheless, I averaged more than a post a week over the entire year.
You can expect to see more of the same this year.
Work and life
As I am sure is true for everyone, I want to decouple the amount I work from the income I receive. That doesn't mean I want to work less. It means, I don't want to see the income graph dip every time I travel, or more importantly, everytime I find an interesting project that I want to work on that doesn't provide direct revenue.
On the hours front, I've done well this year. I've been able to tailor my work life based on my other projects:
Writing isn't reflected there, so that will change for next year and I'd like to shift the overall balance towards DHR and writing, but you never know where life will lead you.
And finally a review of income. While the balance of hours is heading in the right direction, income is unfortunately still correlated. Not bad, mind you, but correlated ... you just have to look at August to see that. The bulk of the reason for that is that my consulting work is the bulk of the income and those clients are primarily hour driven. I plan to change that in 2015. Wish me luck.
When you look back, it was a crazy year. A great year. I didn't even mention the soul fulfilling ability to physically and emotionally support my parents in their move from their home of 35 years. I glossed over the work I did on my 2007 Mini Cooper S and the 1948 Ford 8N. I didn't talk about swim meets, dance recitals, skate performances or skiing. I didn't talk about visits with friends, scheming for new businesses or side work with old ones. All those things are the spice of life that happened purely because of the lifestyle we've chosen and for that opportunity, we are forever grateful.
So what's next?
We're working on our priorities for 2015 as we speak...and I'm sure that there will be a post about that forthcoming. But for the moment, I think the trends you'll see are the following:
- More writing, predominantly on a new topic - a new passion
- More active work in the credit union system
- A focus on Beachbody and our fitness goals
- A dedication to the growth of DHR
- and a continued focus on our lifestyle growth
The possibilities of 2015 are endless, lets see what we can reel in.