Wow, I’d say this year has been the year of personal growth and clarity. My goal this year was to start journaling, that has been a success and has really opened my eyes. I’ll be discussing more throughout my review…
This was the first year I felt like things were back to normal after COVID. But every year indeed does feel like it is getting faster until you slow down and reflect. 2022 was a blur to me. I didn’t even do a review last year.
2023 was different.
I journaled each day and took time to reflect to see how I was feeling. What was going right, what was going wrong, what I was thankful for, and what I wanted to change.
I have a theory about time flying by. Growing up things are new. We are seeing, learning, and experiencing new things all the time and we are in the moment. I just look at my kids and see this in real-time.
As we get older, things get repetitive, we’ve done it. It is like brushing our teeth, it becomes muscle memory. And unless we slow down, look around, and experience things with a beginner’s mind, guess what…. your life is like living on autopilot. It becomes a blur. This was one of my big revelations. I have to take time to slow down and doing so helps me realize what life is about. One of my favorite quotes. “I life worth life is a life worth recording”
OK on to this year’s personal highs and lows.
The year started off with a new business opportunity as I had just taken over a business unit at AwesomeMotive. More about that is my business highlights.
I took a trip to DC with my family in April and the kids had a blast. We contacted our local state representative and got to take a private tour of the Capitol. It was awesome. I had never been to DC but enjoyed the trip. We went to the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial, just about all the Smithsonian museums, and the zoo.
It’s funny though when I asked my kids what their favorite part was they said eating at Hard Rock Cafe 🙂 For me, a highlight was climbing out my representative window and getting a rooftop tour amazing views of the Capitol.
Here are a few pics.
On the roof of the reps building.
Yes, we climbed out the window!
In July we took a trip to the Dominican Republic. It was beautiful but the seaweed was pretty bad. We still had a great time.
We finally took a quick trip to Disney for the end of the summer. My family loves Disney and we have been taking the kids since they were little. We are fortunate enough to live within driving distance and have it down to a science. My kids are getting to the point where they love roller coasters, me not so much anymore.
My wife and I continue to do date nights but not as frequently as I want. This year, a goal for once-a-month date nights.
It’s awesome to continue to see my kids grow and they continue to have lots of firsts. My son turned 9 this year and my daughter 13.
My son continues to love the outdoors, especially fishing. He had his first girlfriend this year, Vivian. He continues to play and loves soccer. His fall team came second in the league. He especially loved that on his birthday he was finally able to ride a go-cart by himself.
My daughter officially turned into a teenager this year. She started to do the things teenagers do.
She went to her first concert, girls days out, makeup, and boy crushes. Oh boy! Hard to believe.
There are many highlights. It’s hard to cover them all but here are some of my other favorites.
Summer time with the family, seeing my father-in-law inducted to the Summerville Hall of Fame, having an awesome and loving wife. Hanging with the dog. Going to go see my parents.
An amazing year but not without some lows. My wife got into a car accident this year and I’m so thankful she was not seriously hurt and that no one else was in the car. That incident had a big impact on me and made me realize how things can change in a flash. She did get a new car 🙂
Also, my mother-in-law who has been battling cancer got very sick and moved in with us for a few months. We have helped her get into assisted living and are making her comfortable. I’m happy to say she is doing as well as she can be now!
For me personally, I continued to jog putting over 500 miles this year. I also continued to meditate and practice staying in the moment. I started a journaling practice which helped me finally realize my struggle with anxiety and overcoming that. Continue on to my reflections to see how…
Jogging and enjoying the morning sunrise.
This year marks my 5th year at AwesomeMotive. It’s been an amazing journey so far. I continue to grow SeedProd.com and RafflePress.com. This year however I also started running Duplicator.com. Duplicator is a WordPress backup and migration plugin. I started the year transitioning the product from the old owners into AwesomeMotive and shaping the team.
It’s been hard work but we are in a good place now and we have an amazing team helping build out the product.
I went to our company retreat in Mexico this year and was able to meet a few team members. It’s always great to see the people you work with virtually every day in person.
We also did 2 growth meetups in Orlando. It’s always an intense time (in a good way) learning and sharing with like-minded people.
I believe we truly do have the best in class products and are proud to be part of a company helping small businesses compete with the big guys.
Me and Andrea – The lead developer for Duplicator.
I still jog even on trips.
As I look back at this it’s been an amazing year of growth. Each challenge brings an opportunity.
One challenge I have faced all my life is with anxiety. I would say almost everyone has some level of anxiety which is good.
In my twenties, I had my first-ever panic attack. At the time I did not know what it was. I remember going to the doctor and he was like “ It’s just anxiety”. That was really my first realization that it was something affecting me. As the years went by I would continue to have more. But I always told myself. It’s fine I can handle anything life throws at me and I did.
Well, this year after lots of reflection I realized I did need a little help. When I started journaling this year I would not only record the day’s events but I would also do a daily check-in on myself. I realized most days I was pretty stressed. Even though I was doing all the things I should be doing, exercising, getting sleep, eating right, meditating, CBT. I was doing it all but still having feelings of overwhelm. I started waking up in the middle of the night with a full-blown panic attack. Heart rate 160+. I could not figure out why. I think during the day I was doing a good job at self-managing. But at night my subconscious was coming through and letting me know I needed to do more.
So I asked myself why are you not seeking some kind of help? My daughter unfortunately also suffers from anxiety. She has a counselor and started to take medication this year which has really helped her. It’s been quite the transformation.
I became curious if some meds could help me but I felt a bit embarrassed about it. I felt like I could handle anything. I feel there is a stigma around mental health. But again after lots of conversions with myself, I developed the belief that I don’t care about what other people think of me.
In the end, I’m going to do what makes me happy. That includes using all available tools to take care of myself.
So I’m happy to report that I did try some meds and it has truly helped me. It’s not a cure-all. There is no such thing. I still have some anxiety, which is good. I’m not looking to be a zombie. But I can handle it better. My mind is not constantly thinking about the worst-case scenario.
I think each thing you do to better yourself (like exercising, eating well, sleeping well, meditating, being kind and generous, etc) is like putting a brick in the wall. They all stack up to help make you the best version of yourself.
There are many other benefits I have from journaling and I’ll be sharing those in the next few posts…
Goals for 2024
My goals for 2024 are simple.
- To keep doing what I have been doing and not regress. Exercise, sleeping 8 hours a night, meditating, leaving work at work etc.
- To start sharing my writing publicly. This past year I wrote 324 out of the 356 days in my personal journal. I have developed the habit of writing, which was my goal last year.
- Spend more time with the family. My daughter turned 13. She only has 5 more years with us so I’m making the most of it.
- A date night with my wife once a month.
- Salad or smoothie once a day.
- Spend more time being creative.
Here’s to an amazing 2024! 🎉