As 2018 comes to a close, I have to say… it’s been a year of remarkable change in my life. I’ve been given incredible opportunities, hit some milestones, and I’m grateful for my friends and family.

Personally, a lot went on in 2018. Here are some highlights:

My wife and I bought a house. I never thought I’d be able to say I was a home owner. I live in a great town, in a great neighborhood. I love our house and it makes me smile every time I walk in. Plus, we have some incredible plans for the place in 2019.

We have a dog. I did not grow up in a household with a pet. No dog, cat, hamster, or bird. My brother had some fish for a while and that’s about it. My step-daughter has wanted a dog for a long, long time and once we bought a house, a new puppy was coming soon. The day we brought Rocco home, I realized what I’d been missing. I had no idea how much love I could have for a dog. He’s the best.

I turned 50. My birthday was a low key affair and I wanted it that way. It nicely coincided with a St. Louis Cardinals game and a visit from my best friend and his girlfriend. The Cardinals didn’t win, but I had a great birthday.

Changed my diet, lost some weight. Early in the year, I had a checkup and was diagnosed as diabetic. My blood sugar was sky high. I needed to do something. Immediately. So, I changed my breakfast and lunch meals, learned how to meal prep, stopped eating as much sugar as I was mindlessly consuming, started walking regularly on the treadmill and lost some weight. I was really blind to how bad it was. My changes dramatically dropped my blood sugar to normal levels without insulin and I’m healthier than I have been in a long time. I still have a long way to go, but I’m making plans in 2019 to do even better.

Started writing for I was given an opportunity to write some articles for the University of Illinois athletic department and made the most of it. I wrote nearly 20 pieces over the course of the year and enjoyed every second of it. The writing helped me become a better interviewer, be less nervous around people, and ultimately be a better writer. It’s been a wonderful side job and one I hope to continue to do for years to come.

Streamlined my online presence. I thought the best way to enhance my writing was to take up with the Medium Partner Program and write essays on Medium for profit. That really didn’t happen. My best month barely covered the $5 a month I was paying to be a part of the program. I had moved away from blogging” thinking writing longer pieces were the way to go and found I didn’t enjoy it. I wanted more control and Medium as a blogging service took away control. It’s still a great service and I appreciate what it does, but once I found and decided in December to move away from Wordpress everything changed. I backlogged the site with material I had used for an abandoned newsletter and other areas, added a few fun pages and I was set. My pre-2018 posts (and maybe a few select 2018 ones) will be gathered in a new collection I’m working on in 2019 called Captured Ghosts.

January 1, 2019