Life: The New Year and what’s ahead

Humans try to make a reference or link to something to account for time. We invented calendars and then try to reference an event and the time that’s passed. It reminds me of how folks from USA are always trying to measure things in football fields. I never played football and have never walked on a football field so I guess it’s big or maybe not? Humans are weird this way.

2023 is a year shy of my 20th year after graduating high school and it’s 2 years short of when I started working at Apple and it’s the 21st year since I went to Macworld in SF for the first time and this is the decade in which I’ll turn 40 years old. I feel and act 25. I don’t feel like my age. Sure, I have some injuries from when I was a child that are creeping back in but when I tell Heather that I don’t feel 36, she agrees. I don’t act 36.

I don’t do resolutions but this year is really important. I’ll be saying no to trips, travel, purchases and other opportunities. I’m focused on two things mainly:
First, my wife and her happiness in this new home away from her friends & family
Second, Doing a great job at this new job and I’m so committed to that, I’ve given up a lot of side hustles to make sure I am present and make an impact. I know corporations aren’t usually loyal to their employees but I want to give this position my all and prove to my team that I’m worth promoting.

There is a bigger goal which is our intention to return to New Hampshire in 5-10 years. I’ve told everyone that’s the goal. Life can throw curveballs at you but while I love Charlotte, I am missing the great outdoors of New Hampshire. It’s not politics or taxes or anything that’s on the surface and transient. It’s just the space and how much land there is to explore and experience. I’m not missing that so much that I’m going to do anything crazy like give up on this job. I’m going to be here for a while but we’re saving and preparing for a move back. Maybe buy property, renovate a home and get ready for that journey back North.

This year and beyond, it’s why saving money and working hard are so important right now. I’m working toward a much larger goal. That’s not to say we may get back to New Hampshire via a place like California. It won’t be NH to NC to NH…we might hop around a bit before we get back but I think that when I turn 50, I want to be in my dream home up North and settled in to a virtual / remote job up there.

A funny thing happened the last 2 years. I took Heather to San Francisco twice and she really likes it. I don’t think it was love at first sight like I had when I first went there in 2003 and promised myself I’d live there one day (which I did in 2007). But exploring Northern California with her and it’s clear she wants to spend some time there. I would move back for a few years. She knows that and so do all of you but this is more about our home and family and where we spend our years where we are starting to think about retirement. I want to ride my motorcycle all over the west coast and she wants to see everything that area has to offer. Tacos in LA, Disneyland, Monterey, San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, ride PCH, see Mt. Shasta with her own eyes, go camping in Yosemite, see redwood trees and camp under them, put her feet in Salt Lake and spend a week in Moab among the giant rocks. The best way to do all of that is to either retire with enough money to live out of an RV for a few years and hope our health holds up OR take a job out west and spend our weekends and holidays exploring. I’d like the latter for us.

We finally found a tenant for our lake house in New Hampshire. It’s a young couple like we were when we purchased it. Rent will cover the mortgage and upkeep and I hope to renovate that home one day to make it a proper lake house with dock, deck, landscaped yard and larger windows that overlook the lake. We had it quoted in 2020 and it was going to be about $150,000 to do everything and would add that much in value 1:1. We were living there full time and both working remotely so it just didn’t make sense. I think in a couple of years, we’ll finally do a renovation. The house will almost be paid off by then and we can not rent it for 6 months and do the renovations it needs. I’m glad we found renters. It took 2 months to find good ones. I’m still thankful to this day that Heather nearly forced me to buy that house. She’s full of good ideas.

After going camping on New Year’s Day, I’m heading off tomorrow to do it again, this time in Florida for a weekend at a BMW motorcycle rally. Low will be 29 degrees and it’ll be a very wet and rainy 8 hour ride there then a dry but below freezing ride home on Sunday. Ugh. But I cherish the times I get to sleep under the stars with new friends. I don’t think I’ll camp 30 nights this year like I have every year since 2016 but I’m going to try.

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for reading.