What a year. Usually I go back and recap all of my favorite posts from the past 12 months but I really didn’t blog as much as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had great moments but what I THOUGHT was going to happen and what did are different. Life never goes as planned and that is what makes it an adventure. You find out that what you think you want isn’t what the universe has planned for you.
I was going to write a post talking about the struggles I had being a stay-at-home-dad, being unemployed and then overcoming to wind up where I am today. Quite frankly all it was doing was pissing me off as I relived the asshattery of people not worth my time so I stopped. I could still be bitter about all of the b.s. but it happened for a reason and each time I learned something.
Here are some things I picked up along the way in 2014.
I want to create
Spending time with my kids forced me to be creative on things to do and see. I started to build and create projects thanks to a great planning guide. Parenting made me see the world in a new light and I thought about how I could make processes better and apps to help. This rekindled a love for making content and now I want to do more with it, and will, in 2015.
Be more flexible with your schedule
It’s December 31st today and most people say “Oh I want to have x,y,z done by the end of the year!” That’s great if you have that personal goal but don’t stress if you can’t meet it. Things happen. I wanted to have “Should I Drink That?” and this site redesigned and published but guess what, not happening. Reality is I’ve been slammed at work when by the time I get home at night, eat and put the kids to bed, I’m ready to pass out.
Start saying NO
I had a bad habit of not turning people down when I knew I was overwhelmed. I did a lot of side projects for people (sometimes for free or “exchange for goods”) and found out that they were just taking advantage of my time and generosity. There’s a time and place to help someone out, you just need to know when to draw the line.
Ignore stupid people
Don’t let anyone take away or diminish the enjoyment you have. The moment “How could you possibly like…” comes out of someone’s mouth is when you tune them out and smile. Miserable people are hellbent on bringing you down to their level. Don’t let them. Unless they’re paying you money for a service, their opinion means nothing. I see this all the time with a growing segment in the craft beer crowd. Guess what, I drink craft beer but I’m also known to drink Beast Ice. *gasp* Oh it’s true. It may taste like desperation but some nights I need that.
Coming into 2014 I hated reading. “Don’t you want to get lost in a good book?” Hell no. It’s wasting my time when I could be doing something else constructive. I still think reading for pleasure is silly and that if you’re not learning something from reading, it’s a waste of time. Binge watching Netflix though, I’m all about that. It requires little effort.
The people who are always in panic mode will burn out.
OMFG THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER! Well until the next OMFG THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER! happens. I’ve dealt with too many people who are always in crisis mode and it’s exhausting. You just need to keep your mouth shut and do your job. I let myself slip once when I was pushed too far and all that did was feed the fire. Keep calm because while they’re flipping out you can be dreaming about something else. Like making beer.
Becoming DIY – repairs
My dad could fix anything or would find someone who could help. My brother is the “I’ll pay someone to do it” guy. Me? I was a mix. I never learned the basics of home repairs or cars growing up beyond the “HOLD THE FLASHLIGHT HERE!” role. With a lack of income this year I turned to the internet and friends for help on how to fix basic things. Now I’m more likely to try and fix it myself first before calling a repair guy. Well I call my father-in-law first THEN make the decision on what to do.
Becoming DIY – food
The family bought me a new grill this year and I have been grilling my ass off and I want to do more in 2015. I was also on the hook to make dinner every night while home with the kiddos. I found out I had a knack for cooking and I can thank home brewing for that. If you can boil water you can cook (and brew). I’m not going to plan an elaborate 4 course meal but if I get the call to whip something up, I’m no longer calling for take out.
Pittsburgh really is badass
I created a series called ‘Discover Pittsburgh through my kids” that turned out to be a big hit. If I didn’t have the opportunity to be home with my kids I would have never found out how kickass the city is. Until you’re in a situation to appreciate certain features of this town you can’t truly appreciate the diversity of Pittsburgh. Thank you everyone for making 2014 an exciting and educational year.
Here are a few videos that will always make this past year special
(Watch ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on YouTube)
(Watch Derda Boys sing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’)
(Watch The Day I Nuked 8 Years of Work By Mistake on YouTube)