In 2020 I'm Excited to Add 2 More to My Life's List
Life grants us several Magic Moments...memories we will always recall with a smile...poignant moments that change our lives. Contrary to my expectations, upon reflection I realized my Moments have been created by recognizing the opportunity, taking some action, and making it happen. What are your Magic Moments? Are you taking steps to add another in 2020?
Here's a list of my poignant moments:
Top Row: 1-5 Bottom Row: 6-9
Pinewood Derby Win- taking home a 1st place ribbon and 3rd place design trophy in 1975 was almost as meaningful as the time spent with my dad creating our yellow speedster.
Landing a Job at Shell- Shell was supposed to be my "practice" interview. I had no idea what I was getting into when I accepted the offer, but it opened the door to three decades of amazing travels, learnings, leadership, engagements, and personal challenges.
Meeting Jennifer- after a somewhat tumultuous previous five years, Jennifer and I met in 1990 at a bowling alley. We hit it off immediately and have been inseparable ever since. She has been my rock, my conscious, my cheerleader, and my partner for 30 years.
Birth of our 3 Kids- I remember each kid's appearance in the world like it was yesterday. Each was fast, all were relatively small, all were natural births, and each was beautiful and captivating from the first moment I held them in my arms.
Fuel Oil Team- everyone should have the honor to work with at least one fantastic team of people during their career. I worked with many fun and successful teams, but the Fuel Oil Team was sharp, determined, unselfish, and close. Together, we reached new heights and paved new paths in the early 2000s...even celebrating a successful year with a team head shaving!
Ex-Pat World Traveler- from 2005 to 2008 we lived in London and traveled extensively across the UK and Europe. We experienced pages out of the history books, appreciated diverse cultures, and bonded as a family as we maintained a furious pace. These three years indeed changed each of our lives forever.
MS150 Bike Ride- after hopping back on a bike for the first time in decades in 2011, I was suddenly signed up for a two-day, 170 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin in 2012. Success required determination, stamina, training, and sheer will. For a fairly sedentary guy, this hails as my proudest physical moment. I dreamed of the finish line for months and raised my arms in triumph as I finished my ride in glory.
Houston Half Marathon- I'd jogged a bit as a kid and again while bike riding in 2012, but in 2016 I rose from the couch to test my endurance with over a dozen 5ks, culminating in completing the 2017 Houston Half Marathon in January as I limped across the finish, exhausted and proud.
Retirement- on June 30, 2018 I completed 30 years with Shell and hung up my badge to focus time on health, family, and writing. Most years were fantastic, some were really tough personally, but I would not change this amazing ride with my magnificent family and awesome co-workers. I learned a lot about the energy industry and even more about myself which has enabled me to launch into this next chapter of my life.
I'm so excited to be preparing for (at least) two more items to add to my list in 2020:
Publish My First Book- decades after I fell in love with writing as a high school newspaper writer and editor and over six years after I finally reconnected with writing while rehabbing from surgery, I will be publishing my debut book during the first quarter (pre-orders Jan 22, launch Mar 31). I'm so proud to complete this project and become an AUTHOR. I'm also celebrating the personal learnings I gained through the process and my new mission to connect with other introverts with the hope of helping them to develop better coping skills than I had and reach beyond their introversion for an amazing and fulfilling life.
Climbing Kilimanjaro- I first considered this climb in 2007 when I happened to see a couple of videos of the climb while an ex-pat in London. The trek through many different climates and the challenge of rising to the top of Africa hit a cord for me. Given our relative proximity while in London, I began researching for a Kili climb in 2008. However, we returned to the US early that year and my opportunity seemed to have passed. But with retirement in 2018 came a renewed interest. And when my daughter, Maddie, shared an interest to join this past year, the excitement returned. Now, just this past week, we have booked our trek for August 2020. Much like my MS150 ride to Austin, I expect I will soon be dreaming of standing at the summit of Kilimanjaro!
As each one of us becomes aware of our natural strengths and embraces our own introversion, let's use our talents and renewed confidence to stretch beyond our comfort zone. In doing so, we can create more Magic Moments in 2020.
My Writing Journey - Reconnecting with Writing
In 2013 I had a life changing bike accident. It wasn't just traumatic because of the surgery and recovery. It was the only time I'd ever been away from work for so long - over 2 months. During the hiatus, I reconnected with writing for the first time in decades through a blog that eventually migrated to jotting down stories - the origin of my first book.
NEXT WEEK- We'll return to our regularly scheduled Wednesday blog on January 8th. Have a relaxing and reflective holiday...and enjoy some special EXTRAS below!
National Hobby Month – January 2020
January is National Hobby Month. What hobbies do you enjoy? Whether it's reading, knitting, stamp collecting, video games, running, painting, swimming, or dancing, a hobby is a great way to escape from the daily grind and build confidence by learning and excelling at something new.
By Elliott Garrick
Photo Credit: Stocksnap
Aligned with January being National Hobby Month, this week's link provides 10 perfect hobbies for introverts like us. I have undertaken 7 of them. How many can you relate to?