Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 and 2013

I looked at my last post in 2011.  It said it had been one of the toughest years for me, ever, but that I was still happy, still healthy, and I would be better in 2012.

I was a little off.

2012 was harder.  Those of you who know me personally know the longer version of what happened in the first three months of the year.  For those who don’t, here’s the short version:

My father gets pneumonia

My father has a major heart attack, codes, and is revived.

My mother, who is battling cancer, decides it’s time for hospice

My mother falls, and is diagnosed with a brain embolism.

My mother spends about a month in patient at Gilchrest, dies.

My sister and I deliver the news to my father, who is days away from being discharged from cardiac rehab.

My father gets out of cardiac rehab.

There’s more to it, the longer version goes in to detail about trips to the ER with low blood sugar and visits from urologists who may or may not have been smoking pot in the parking lot (dude!  let’s see what we can do with this tube!)

But through it all, my family and friends hung in there with me (us), keeping humor and fun integrated appropriately into something that tested me greatly.  I also can’t say enough good things about my employer, Coca-Cola.  I got the time and support I needed, with just the right amount of pressure to distract me.  I just read there’s VP opening in the organization, and they couldn’t do better than the guy I reported to.

You’ll notice there’s a change there, to past tense.  I left Coke in July.  Not because of them, but because it was time for me to do my own thing and join my wife in the real estate business.  So I did live up to my promise to my self to do better in 2013, because I took my life back.

Unfortunately, that didn’t translate perfectly, but nothing ever does.

I got to go to Japan and Italy this year, both were trips of a lifetime.  I completely own my work life balance now.  I didn’t get my training on track.

Later in the year, I had to face the possibility that I’m not invincible.  Which I find unacceptable.  Invictus.

Good enough?  For some.

But I can’t wait to get better in 2013.  2013 will be about balance and success.  It will also be about getting stronger and competing.  And it will be about re-energizing ideas that lied dormant.

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Christmas Shopping

I did all my Christmas shopping online this year.

I have to say, while it’s incredibly convenient and time efficient, it took some of the fun out of the season for me.  That’s not a bad thing (we didn’t decorate, either) because of the move and renovation we really weren’t able to do much.  We didn’t entertain either, we’re still not quite ready for that.  The Feast of Seven Fishes Christmas Eve dinner will be off site, I’m sure Aldo’s won’t disappoint.

I normally enjoy toy shopping for my six nieces and nephews (and two second cousins – I’ll stick to calling them a niece and a nephew, too, if that’s OK with you); I connect with the kids, and that’s really what it’s all about.  I also like to support local business where I can, and while I often end up at a Toys ‘R Us (in Delaware, to avoid sales tax), I usually get a few things at local shops (Amuse in Fells Point is awesome).

So, I’m not all Christmasy.  Maybe I’ll go to the mall Monday and just walk around.  I’m leaving if they play that Christmas shoes song, though.

Still Here

I’m still here, just too busy to blog much.

I’m looking at getting training back on track next week, I might be switching gyms and timing; Dumbarton Barbell is very, very close to my house (in the basement of Dumbarton Middle), but they have limited hours (3-9 weekdays, 10-1 Saturday).  Word is it’s a very cool old school place and the home of the Baltimore Weightlifting Club.  While not a weightlifter, I’d imagine that’s a well equipped gym for a powerlifter.

Anyway, that would change my expected AM training to mid afternoon.  From a performance standpoint I much prefer mid afternoon, but it’s not as business friendly as mornings.  Good thing, my business/everything partner has encouraged me to figure it out because of how close the gym is.  One possibility is to just shift my normal day later and train/work later in to the evening.  Not much happens in Real Estate before 9AM anyway.

Otherwise, life is good.  Things are coming along at the new house, with just a few things undone other than getting all of our furniture.  Thus far, not at all impressed with Greenfront Furniture in Virginia.  We’ll see if they can make things right, but as of now, they have been non-responsive.  Nearly everything we got from them arrived damaged, and they didn’t order any of the items that were not in stock until the in stock items were delivered (??).  After spending more than $10k on furniture, I would expect at least some follow up.  Thus far?  Nothing.  So don’t go there to buy furniture.  I’ll let you know if that changes.

Slowly integrating in to our business, still building the business plan and marketing.  We need to come up with a name.  So far, we’re just at Mason/Stagg Home Sales and Staging, but we think replacing our names with a single word that sums up our mission, values, and service would be better for branding.  “Awesome” sounds a little presumptuous, though, right?

Once the business is up we’ll have a web presence.  We may point this domain to our business site but we don’t know for sure.

Also, if you haven’t yet, check out which is a new venture for me.  Just tested it out with some tasting note posts a while back, but I’m going to do much more work in the new year on local wine events, profiles of people in the Maryland wine, food, and entertaining industry, and of course on Maryland wines and wines available from Maryland retailers.


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