Birthday Status Post

Google Birthday Doodle

Google continues to be creepily/amazingly personal with a special doodle for me today – the alt-text reads “Happy birthday Adam!”

Today is my 35th birthday. Thirty-five isn’t that old, but it definitely feels like I’m not in the beginning part of my life anymore, like I should have gotten somewhere by now. So, I’m kind of taking stock of things today and I decided to put it all in a blog post for your enjoyment!

Fitness

The first thing that comes to my mind is my quest to become less of a squishy lump. As I’ve written pretty extensively about, I am in the middle of a 100 Day Challenge to exercise every day for 100 days. My first day was January 11, 2014, which makes today Day 74. Although I have had some days with very little dedicated exercise time, I have not yet missed a day. I’m pretty proud of that, as I’ve tried many times before to get into regularly exercising and it has always kind of petered out at some point. This feels different. With more than two months in the bag, I have pretty well established daily exercise as a part of my routine. After the 100 Day Challenge ends, I probably won’t force myself to make it every day. Five days per week with a couple of rest days sounds pretty good to me. I don’t want to cut back any more than that mostly because I’ve started to really relish my workout time. It is 30-60 minutes dedicated solely to me when I can focus on improving myself in a very important way. I don’t want to give that up any more than I have to. Also, I don’t want to suffer from the health problems that will certainly crop up if I don’t take a bunch of weight off, many of which are in my family history. I want to be able to chase grandkids around one day!

Mental Health

My own assessment of my mental health varies wildly depending on the day, the time of day, what and whether I’ve eaten recently, and the phase of the moon from what I can tell. For example, this morning I was feeling pretty good. I had had a short but hard run on the treadmill, I was sufficiently caffeinated, and it’s my birthday! Now, I’m tired from getting up so early and I have a headache from listening to the kids shriek all day. I’m feeling rather less good about my mental state. Overall, I think I’m coping adequately with my various issues. Things could be better, but I don’t have the time or energy to really focus on this more than I already am. Hopefully I’ll figure out a way to not be so exhausted at the end of the day so that I can work on feeling better about myself.

Family

I am very lucky to have the family that I do. My wife is a near-perfect companion for me in every way. My sons are little geniuses who make me laugh every day. Even though they literally drive me insane some days, I am so happy that I get to stay at home with them while they are little. Orion (my 2-year-old) is starting to get really good at expressing his wants and needs. This is especially exciting in light of his early speech troubles. On the other hand, he has mastered “no” but hasn’t really even started working on “yes”. Like any toddler, he often says no to things that he actually wants just because he can. It is both funny and frustrating. Leo (my 6-month-old) is perpetually cheerful. It’s almost creepy how happy he is most of the time. Making him laugh out loud is often the highlight of my day. Although he steadfastly refuses to roll over from back to front, he is a champ at going from front to back and he is learning to use a walker to get around. Right now he’s going through a phase where he wants to grab anything that comes into grabbing distance. That includes headphone wires, phones, glasses, silverware, dishes full of food, hair, lips, his bottle, and the dogs. I don’t really want icky little baby fingerprints all over my glasses, but I am enjoying watching him learn about his little world. Like I said, I’m damn fortunate.

Self IMprovement

For about the past year, I’ve been teaching myself how to program. I started with some video lectures made available by Stanford from their introductory Java class and I quickly discovered that there are dozens of free interactive courses online at sites like Coursera and edX. I’ve completed somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 of these MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), almost all in computer science. I can’t remember ever feeling this fascinated with something that actually has money-making potential. I’m a little worried that I seem to have found my calling in my mid 30s at a time when going back to school just isn’t possible. Hopefully, I can build up enough of a portfolio of projects to serve as a substitute for a degree. In any case, I’m going to keep learning about this stuff because I really really like it. I’ve got an idea for a web app and a couple ideas for Android apps. My current main focus is learning enough about Android and web technologies (PHP, MySQL, Javascript, etc.) to actually build those projects. I manage to get in a little bit of learning almost every day, but I really wish I had some longer stretches of time to really get in the zone and practice putting the pieces together.

 

Well, I’ve been working on this post in 10 minute increments all day, so I think there’s been enough introspection for now. Here’s to another year of weathering the storms and soaking up the sunshine.

SLOW DOWN!

Lately I’ve been getting a little freaked out by how fast Orion is developing and learning things. Right now, he’s working on refining his crawling technique, feeding himself, pulling up on anything that will stand still for it (including his parents!), problem solving to get what he wants, and he’s starting to get a really good handle on cause and effect (he was shaking the remote control the other day and looking back and forth between it and the tv). It’s cool that he’s learning all of these new skills and that he’s becoming more social and interactive, but it’s all just happening so fast!