Isolation


On Sunday night, I packed a suitcase and headed to Pittsburgh…by myself. Until the house sells, I will be commuting back and forth across the state. I’ve lived on my own before, but this time it feels a bit different, like I am leaving a lot more behind. My company has been great and they put me up in a nice furnished apartment with 2 bedrooms (so you have a place to stay, if you’re gonna be out my way!), but when I locked the door behind me, a deep sense of isolation came over me. I was also exhausted, which probably contributed to the somber feeling, plus you can throw in the polar vortex, it feels like I am stationed in Antarctica.  




 




Now, I suspect that this admission of isolation probably has some of you wondering if I am regretting the decision to make this move. At this point, I still have no regrets, the company has embraced me and I feel like my own personal stock will skyrocket here, Pittsburgh is a beautiful town, and once Jac and the kids are out here, it will feel like home. To help me put this all in perspective, I just keep the date of March 1st in my mind, I just need to make it to March 1st and hopefully at that point, we will have things pretty well lined up for the move and the end of the transition will be near.




 




I don’t think I mentioned it yet, but I have a new favorite possession. I love it more than my baseball signed by Charlie Manuel (which is saying a lot), I had to turn in my company car from my last company and buy a car for myself. I can’t post a picture right now, but check it out on Google, it is a black Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited (Unlimited means 4 doors). I cannot really put a reason on it, but I just love driving it. It feels so primitive, like driving a lawnmower or tank, it doesn’t have many bells or whistles, but for some reason, I am totally in love with it. If there’s a reason to drive somewhere, get a coffee, pick up dry cleaning, etc., I am all over it.


Pittsburgh, PA – Here We Come

I have been hesitant to write over the past couple of weeks because my world was experiencing cataclysmic change. After working several years for an outstanding company, I made the decision to pursue a totally new opportunity with a company located all the way out in Pittsburgh, PA.

The opportunity is a good one, I will get to take on greater responsibilities, work on an important product, and I think that it will afford my family greater stability. With all that being said, it is a huge move and it will be pretty disruptive leaving families, friends, and schools. It was not a decision we took lightly, we stressed over it plenty, but we think we made the best decision and have initiated plans to remedy our concerns. For example, we are searching for homes with a nice living space for friends and family who need a place to stay when visiting us. We have several events locked into our calendars that warrant us returning regularly over the next couple of months. Plus, we found out that Pittsburgh has awesome school districts and plenty to do. We hope we can convince many of you to pay us a visit once we get moved out there.

In the meantime, we have realtors looking at our present home in Hartsville and until that home sells, I will be living in an apartment in Pittsburgh and coming home for the weekends (keep your fingers crossed that it sells quickly).

Jac has been working her tail off to clean up the house and make it attractive to buyers. Additionally, she is leading all negotiations and strategic decisions related to the real estate transaction. Oh, she’s also supervising two insane children who are feverishly trying to undo her progress towards cleaning the house!

Right now, I am on a plane headed to San Fran to meet my new colleagues at a big national meeting, hoping that I make a decent first impression. The good news is that I am no longer in the anxious stage, I am just excited to make this the most of this opportunity. I told Jac that in the past 7 years, I feel like we have navigated through plenty of crazy times, but this time feels different, like we are not reacting to a crisis, but tackling a huge opportunity where we are on the verge of getting ahead. Let’s hope I’m right!

2013 – Year In Review

At the end of each year, I do my best to summarize the key events and lessons I’ve learned over the previous 365 days. This year’s summary is slightly delayed because the past 2 weeks have been total insanity (more on that later).

1. A couple small changes every day can add up to a big difference. Eating salads and walking the dog helped me lost about 40 pounds this summer.
2. This was the first year I really had to be a “boss” and manage a team of people, I get the sense that most people are very competent, take pride in their work, and want to succeed, maybe I just got lucky and worked with a great group, but it never felt like I was a “boss”.
3. I pride myself on being a MAN, being tough, capable of enduring lots of pain, but was amazed at how much devastation a tiny spider did to me. I was delirious, terrible fever, horrible pain, swollen leg, infection traveling up my veins. It did not change me though, I went right back to doing what I always do.
4. This was a great year of parenthood, having a 5 year old and a 7 year old is the beginning of a very fun phase. Their personalities are on full display, they are able to go on hikes, make it through a dinner at a restaurant, and Christmas was a blast for all of us. It is nice to be out of the infant and toddler ages.
5. Jac and I had a remarkable time in New Orleans, such vivid memories of the food and music!
6. The corporation I worked for announced major layoffs, extremely scary stuff. At first I couldn’t imagine how horrible it would be to lose my job and what that would mean to my family, but ultimately realized that we would always be fine, we just might have to live a different lifestyle.
7. Looked for other jobs as a result of the instability, interviewed a lot. Most common questions are “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “Why are you looking for a job?”, “Why should we hire you?”
8. Got offered a great job and took it, preparing to move across the state, I can’t imagine how much this will impact my family and career.
9. Driving a car is most fun with a dog in the passenger seat.
10. On New Years Eve, Winston sat on a recliner all night with a big clock on his lap, just waiting for the year to pass. He watched it all the way to midnight, I couldn’t believe it, he jumped up and screamed “Happy New Year” and ran upstairs to plant his sleeping mom with a big kiss.
11. My glasses spent 24 hours on the bottom of Lake Cayuga.
12. Bulldogs won a championship in softball, I was elated for the entire following week.
13. Bought a cheap record player and have built a solid library on vinyl.
14. Introduced the kids to the Yellow Submarine movie and to the shock of Jaclyn, they loved it.
15. New babies came into the world, I can’t believe it, but I find myself so in love with them, so amazed by them.
16. I read a TON this year, learned about Jerusalem, Winston Churchill, the Civil War, and US Grant. This year I’m diving into WW1, WW2, Lincoln’s assassination, and Alan Turing.
17. My favorite night of the year was walking through the snow storm with Jaclyn in Lambertville.
18. Dalia has crazy dance moves, she is going to be trouble.
19. It is the end of the beginning for me, my hair is starting to fall out and my back had problems this year.
20. Visited Crystal Caves with the family, we traveled hundreds of feet under ground and saw amazing rock formations and stalactites over 20 feet long, the kids feedback was “There were barely any crystals.”

2014 will be a big year, wish us luck, and we cannot wait for what the adventure brings us.