I have, for the most part, been taking a break from these here Intertubes and it has been over a year since I’ve posted to this here site. Here’s a bulletpoint summary of the last 12 months:
- In May of 2018 I started what I’m going to call an extended sabbatical. I know “spending more time with the family” is an overused phrase but in this case it’s actually true. As with many dual-income American households, we parked our kids at various camps and programs so that we could take on occupations…that did not allow a lot of room for parenting or partnering. So my new plan is to invest more time with the family (particularly the kids) before they hit those teenage years during which they want nothing to do with me. My goals are to help them learn, how to see the world, and how to use their time when it is theirs. And secondarily to do some things I’ve never been able to make quality time for.
- In August of 2018 I took my kids on a camping roadtrip all the way around Lake Michigan—the route is called the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. They didn’t know at the time that it was an experiment to see if a more ambitious trip (and we all passed with flying colors).
- Because we survived a week of ourselves, in September of 2018 I ordered an Airstream travel trailer and Ford pickup truck to tow it. This summer, I’ll be taking the kids on an 80-day trip to Alaska.
- In October of 2018 I traveled to Budapest and Berlin to see friends in each of those places.
- I took my family to Lisbon and Barcelona for 12 days over the kids’ winter vacation. It was the kids’ first time in Europe and my first time to Portugal. We ate all the things.
- We have other travels booked or planned: Costa Rica, Japan, and possibly Newfoundland.
- In March of 2019 a friend and I took the Airstream on its maiden voyage to Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
- While I was working, my day-to-day existence consisted of meetings, pixels, emails and more meetings. They now consist of kid pickups and drop-offs, travel planning, cooking family meals, handling doctors and insurance for the family and organizing and fixing things. Though I’ve always loved my jobs, some combination of being more present at home and less present on the Intertubes has improved my life immensely and makes it feel exponentially more meaningful.
- Several medical issues (painful but not serious) sadly kept me out of the woodshop. I’ve started to address those problems and have been back in the shop lately (working mostly on bicycles, though).
- I’ve taken some photos, made a few things, cooked and eaten some great meals, spent time and seen some incredible places with people I care about. I’m not retired, though…I’ve got a few rounds left in me and I’ll go back to work sometime in 2020.
A little about all of these things in due course.