*sigh* It’s been another one of those years, as we say goodbye to 2014 and stare wide eyed at the upcoming year and what wondrous things it holds for me as I post my 2015 resolutions. It’s been a very challenging year as I look back on what has been accomplished, but more importantly where I failed. It’s those areas that I will look to improve on in 2015, there is no “can’t” or “won’t” and change, will be welcomed. Great strides were made this year, but I still fell short, in my opinion on where I want to be physically and mentally, as a husband, father and individual. Sometimes the individual accomplishments out shined that of commitments as a husband or father.
I started 2014 much like I ended the previous year, following a plant based lifestyle, avoiding meat, dairy, and added oils in my diet. This way of eating works for me and allowed me to control my weight without being hungry, shed some unwanted fat as I worked on a strengthening program. While I would love to think I achieved my Stronglifts goals, I fell well short due to continued inflammation in my left shoulder. All was going well to start 2014 after the initial surgery in October, 2013 but a few months into the new year I was experiencing severe pain in the shoulder joint.
After numerous visits to the orthopedic surgeon, he put me back into physical therapy. It was odd, as my shoulder felt amazing after surgery and I was making great progress. Unfortunately something happened (maybe building that haunted house two days after surgery contributed to it) and the pain flared up and never went away. After a few months of therapy, the PT sent her report to the orthopedic, which required another office visit. It was August when he decided to go back into my shoulder to clean the joint of inflammation. I had already stopped lifting weights earlier in the year to prevent further damage to the shoulder. Thankfully I still had my running.
Speaking of running, I accomplished something great this year and accomplished my first 50k running the Diablo Trails Challenge in April. It was a truly amazing feeling to walk around for weeks with a “runner’s high” wanting to run further. This was one of those accomplishments that meant much more to me than to my family members, but I celebrated with two co-workers who were cheering me on when I came down the chute and crossed the finish line in a time of 8:53:33! It came as no surprise that I had the desire to challenge a 50 mile race in the future.
As August rolled around, I made a day trip up to Lake Tahoe to participate in my second Tough Mudder staged at Northstar Tahoe. With shoulder issues, I probably should not have made the trip, but I had already registered and was looking forward to the event. I was concerned there would be some obstacles I could not accomplish, but surprised myself and made it through every obstacle. It was awesome! No other word can describe it. This year I also challenged myself to run the event wearing my Luna Sandals. Best decision I made all day, as my feet took the abuse, but at no point did my toes ever hurt, my feet might have gotten wet and had dirt and bark in them, but they felt good all day long. It was still nearly 8 hours on the hill, which makes for a very long and tiring day.
As a husband and father I have not been my best. While words on this site and comments on Facebook and Instagram tell a different story I have struggled on both fronts. It’s not easy sometimes knowing your deficiencies, but doing little to change them. I know I have claimed to make progress to be a better husband or have more patience with my son. Somehow the end result wasn’t in my favor. No fingers need to be pointed, but I need to reflect inward in order to change who I am.
I continue to believe that if I can change my diet (lifestyle) I can change any aspect or characteristic I don’t find favorable. Unfortunately that is more difficult than I expected it to be. Maybe old dogs can’t learn new tricks or maybe men can’t change who they are. I still hold the belief I can be the best husband and father out there. All it takes is desire and commitment to make positive changes happen.
Last October was difficult, but I honestly felt our marriage had turned the corner and the future looked brighter or was I just setting myself up for failure? I had made commitments to both my wife and son, to work on my shortcomings. For example I continue to struggle getting my son do things. Usually this happens as he gets ready for bed. He fails to listen and I have to ask repeatedly in order to get something done. Him not listening, makes me irritable, which makes me (in his words) “act like a bully.” It seems I have created no middle ground for him, there is the right way or the way wrong. Yet in reality there is common, middle ground, which is something we BOTH need to work on. I am hopeful I have the strength and determination to have that patience and be supportive of him and to help him grow as an individual.
My interpersonal skills are still an area of concern, as it relates to my marriage, even after 11 years! I will be very thankful my wife is still by my side, as I realize I have been a real ass at times. Decisions and actions in the past have continued to plague me, while I accept what has happened I continue look toward the future in a positive light, but it’s difficult to let go what I have done and think everything is fine. It’s not and I need an adjustment, much like committing myself to eat better. Yet after nearly 12 months I don’t believe I am a better person after everything I have gone through.
Thankfully I have one resource I have reached out to, which could have me seeing things differently with a more positive outlook on life. While our lives have turned around on some fronts, such as finances, there is still work to be done and it starts with me. I need to step up and be the man I was when she said “yes” to be my wife. I haven’t been that man for many years. I need to be a better communicator and talk to her about what is on my mind. More importantly, I need to be her friend. Yeah, I know 11 years is a hell of a long time to realize this, especially seeing so many friends of mine and hers happy with life, kids and marriage.
Hopefully these changes will be noticeable, as I will make a committed effort on my part to change those negative characteristics and reflect a more positive aura around my wife, she deserves it. The past 2 years since her surgery have been a real struggle, both physically and more importantly mentally. It has taken a toll, but she is a very strong minded and beautiful woman. I have faith in her, hopefully her faith in me isn’t completely exhausted as 2014 draws to a close.
Finances continued to be a concern for much of the year. I knew we were at a turning point, coming up on 2 years since I lost our house to Bank of America. A day still does not go by that I am frustrated at how our case was mishandled and the home was sold at auction. With that entire situation behind me, I looked toward the future and taking what I had learned about home buying, mortgages and banking and prepare for a new home buying experience. While I am still a year away from having that foreclosure off my credit history, steps have been taken to improve our financial outlook.
We will start 2015 with one financial commitment to be paid monthly, her automobile loan. Just last month I finished paying off my truck, which I now own. It feel great to be relieved of a single payment. Credit cards are usually the death of many, I know it was for be 10 years ago, being some $20,000 in debt due to credit cards. Now between my wife and I we have four credit cards, all of which are paid off. Since banks have tightened credit limits, all these cards have manageable limits that won’t overextend our budget if we use them occasionally.
With my wife now “permanently disabled” and unable to work, she took up a hobby in order to make some extra money. She now breed Bengal cats, which has allowed to put money away that we hope to use as a down payment on a house at the end of 2015. I continue to examine our monthly budget and work on finding ways to save or get more out of the money we earn. I feel very fortunate she forces us to save money, it’s a pillar of confidence knowing we have a “rainy day fund” if something unforeseen happens. Now with virtually no debt, it’s time to start saving even more.
With all that said, I look forward to what 2015 brings. While I could continue to add to my resolutions, many of the remaining items will be used as goals in order to gauge myself through out the year.