Self reflection is always a good thing; a practice I do regularly and enjoy. This time of year brings out a communion of self reflections, and since I penned a thank you for 2016, I return to this space to reflect on 2017. As I began this process, my first thought was, Where did you go 2017?!
I noticed immediately I did not write once in 2017. Not once! I knew I had neglected this fun hobby for a bit, but I did not expect to go an entire calendar year without a post. So this reflection of the year will be the only post of the year!
I'm grateful for many things. First, I'm grateful for being alive, to experience the exciting adventure of daily living in God's creation. Everything else flows from the basic foundation of being healthy. I'm not limited in what I can do.
2017 was a pretty good year all around. The entire year was spent in Baltimore, and I returned to Washington, DC the week before Christmas. I enjoyed all 18 months in Baltimore. Some highlights:
I lost 40 pounds. I did this with a help of a coach at the gym, who helped me focus on how much fats, carbs, and protein I need to take in each day, due to my age and level of activity. I did weekly check-ins to be held accountable, but mostly this was self driven. I feel this is different than previous weight losses, because I know what the heck I'm doing.
I have set new personal fitness records in the following areas:
- Half Marathon (Almost a two-hour half!)
- Deadlifts (Over 300 lbs.)
- Backsquats (Almost 250 lbs. It wasn't that long ago when I weighed 250)
I finally finished reading Mere Christianity. I have also read the Book of Job, Acts of the Apostles, and the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, & John (I read Mark last year in case you think I skipped him!)
I have a new girlfriend, who is awesome and I love. She is a triple threat; wicked smart, beautiful, and thoughtful. I'm a very lucky guy!
I was on two committees for internal work conferences. The first involved all teams on the East Coast. I helped plan three different sessions and they were all well received. It was the first conference like this in awhile, and we had a good team. The second featured our regional team and I was honored to be a Co-Chair. We implemented volunteer service and partnered with four area nonprofits, something we had not previously done. Both committee assignments were very fulfilling. One I asked to serve and the other I took the initiative to get on the committee. I'm very proud of the firm I work for, and grateful for the colleagues I have. They are talented and collaborative. We do important work, and we do it well.
I won an award for a brochure I helped design while I was at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. I am now an award-winning fundraising consultant!
I did my annual trips of Bethany Beach in the summer, Retreat in the fall, and Rehoboth for Thanksgiving. Christmas was again celebrated back home in Ohio, where I had an annual visit with my close friends from grade school. I also met up with a good friend from high school who moved back to Columbus.
I was back in Cleveland over Memorial Day weekend to hang out with my college roommate and see my Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field. It had been about 20 years since I had been at the Jake. My phone broke when I walked inside, overwhelmed no doubt about being in the presence of champions!
Xavier once again went to the Sweet Sixteen in 2017, and I almost jumped through the ceiling when we beat our old coach, Sean Miller and his talented and highly ranked Arizona Wildcats.
I made pulled pork twice and added an Eastern Carolina Cole slaw to my cooking resume. It's a slow steady climb in the area of cooking.
I renewed my passport, added to my retirement, donated more clothes and other items than I remember doing before. I poured more money into my vintage 2004 Sentra, and thankful I was never stranded anywhere.
As I move forward to 2018, it's fun to be back in DC. I'm in a new apartment, but not far from my old one. This post from 2015 spoke about new possibilities of that place and it's fun to see that some of those ideas did come true. My DC sister did help me decorate my new place up in Baltimore, and I'm writing this on a table that would fit perfectly in my old spot.
I've grown a lot since I left two and half years ago. My faith remains strong, so do my many different friendships. God continues to bless me with so much.
Now that I'm back in DC, I'm asking myself how will I continue to maintain and improve my overall life, and more specifically, how will I improve to be a better consultant/colleague (and my future with the firm), along with how will I be a better friend, brother, and partner. I'm very excited about all of this, and don't look at with any anxiety. I move forward with God always besides me, and that brings me peace.
Let's get to work. The first step in 2018 is to write more!
Wishing you a Happy New Year and continued blessings!