2016 was an interesting year

I’m sitting here at my house, at noontime, on December 30, 2016…36 hours until the New Year strikes and 2017 arrives. It has been a monumental year for me personally on many levels, with my daughter being born at the top of the list, several promotions at work, and continuing personal growth. It has also been a worrying year, with the political landscape taking a troubling turn and many fascinating people passing away.

I didn’t truly realize how burned out I was from my previous gig and the first couple months of my current gig until I took my month long paternity leave in July. Being able to unplug from everything and focus 100% on my family changed me in a profound way. Knowing that now I was responsible raising a human being, I strived to redouble my own efforts for learning and personal growth. As you can see from my Goodreads list, my read books steadily climbed in 2016. 21 is well short of my 50 goal for the year, but it is probably the # of books I have read in the past 4 years combined. Next year I will hit 50.

Career wise, I have had several promotions at my current gig and I am currently building three teams. We have lots of job openings on our site, btw.

Political wise, I worry for America. President-elect Donald Trump goes against everything I believe in from a moral and policy standpoint. I am exploring ways to get involved in local politics somehow and add one small voice speaking against his policies and for something better.

I will close out with my family. My daughter is everything to me. It is often me who wakes up first thing in the morning when she awakes and her smile when she sees me and hears me say “Good morning!” is something that will never grow old for me. Today is her six month birthday and I look forward to many more with her and my wife, who has been an amazing mom herself.

The plan to move to Gonyea.com

A few months ago I acquired Gonyea.com from a domain squatter. I haven’t done much with the domain due to time restraints, but I am edging closer to at least begin working on moving over my online presence to it. Here are my initial plan:

I have signed up for Google Apps for the domain. The free version does everything I need, whether it is e-mail, calendar, contacts, etc. I do not need to worry about running a mail server and I can use Google Apps on any device I own.

In one sense, moving e-mail over to Google Apps would be easy. Setup a filter on Gmail to do all of the hard work and that is it. Yet it really isn’t that easy. The perfectionist in me would require that every online account I own be immediately switched over, which will take hours to do all of the updates. Then again, do I really want a bunch of web sites to know about my new e-mail address?

My calendar right now is just hosted on my home computer and isn’t synced in the cloud. I will use this opportunity to move everything over to Google Calendar.

I plan on configuring my iPhone and my iPad to both use Gmail & Google Calendar via the Google Sync feature. Instantly I will have over the air calendar and contact updates, plus push e-mail.

I am almost certain I will just 301 redirect to chris.gonyea.com. I just have to setup the proper .htaaccess rules and setup WordPress on chris.gonyea.com.

Recovering and getting back into the flow

It has been an interesting past month or so for me.

I had fought what had felt like a cold for about two weeks that kept getting slowly worse. Everyone thought it was a cold and said there was no use going to the doctor, since that is what he would tell me too. Heck, it felt like a cold. Outside of the chills (but oddly no fever) the first few days, I just coughed often and occasionally strained my voice from talking too much (kind of hard not to do when your job includes phone support). The nights were the worst, I got very little sleep and coughed despite taking NyQuil.

Thanksgiving weekend, two weeks into this “cold” I went up to my parents house to visit them, hoping a little R&R with home cooked meals would do me some good. By Sunday my father got sick of hearing me cough and we thought maybe this was something more than a cold. A quick trip to the doctor’s office and I discovered I actually had walking pneumonia, which shocked us all. I had no fever, was not tired, and outside of the first couple of days, no chills, just this cough.

Of course things weren’t easy. The doctor went with a lower dose of antibiotics hoping that would clear up everything, but the way my luck was going, that wasn’t the case. I was doing better for about three days before my recovery stalled and started to backtrack.

Another trip the doctor, stronger antibiotics, and an inhaler prescribed, four days straight at home and I feel a lot better. Still have a cough and congestion, which will last another week or two according to the doctor, but the pneumonia is much reduced in my lung and is under control.

It is quite amazing what doesn’t get done when I am sick. My wife was awesome helping out the best she could, but everything from minor repairs to cleaning out the closet and shed to even some computer work that I had wanted to finish never happened. I did not even do my Christmas consumer duty, I didn’t start my Christmas shopping until three days ago.

Lesson learned about how the cough I had wasn’t normal and I should have gone to the doctor much sooner. If I had, I probably would have saved a lot of time, money, and frustration on my part. My awesome employer was understanding, my awesome wife was just plain awesome, and I am finally getting better.

Condo owners

As of yesterday, my wife and I own our first home: the condo we have lived in for the past four years. My father-in-law sold it to us and the transaction was finally completed yesterday.

We are very happy and can’t wait to start making some improvements to this place. Assuming it is affordable, we are going to replace the bedroom windows and maybe our sliding door that goes out to the patio. The bedroom windows are in really bad shape and the sliding door isn’t much better. Given that the scary “w” word is approaching, it makes sense to get this taken care of. Not to mention, it helps keep our condo fee lower if we have energy efficient windows.

After that, we have a number of projects to work on over the fall and winter. Probably would be a good opportunity to paint some of the rooms here. I want to keep watch and see if I can score a great deal for a thru-the-wall air conditioner with the season almost being over. The model we have is at least 20-years-old (the condo was built in 1983) and might even be the original one.

Anyways, it is exciting news and I hope we can make this a good investment.

It has been one week

Well it has been one week since…that truly awful day…when my cousin Jen…

It is odd how grief works. I will be going along, joking around or having fun, and then that little sliver of a memory will be somehow be remembered and instantly I am saddened again.

Whenever one of those memories pops into my head, I can’t seem to do anything but feel empty. Wondering what the heck I could have done to stop this awful event from happening, to roll back the clock and to give her a second chance. I am sure any friend or relative feels this way. You think that one phone call or e-mail could have changed her mind, if only for another day or two. Anything to have her for another day or two. Just a little more time to fix things up. Maybe it would have made a difference, maybe not.

But I then remember she is looking down over us know, I know it. Happy once again. And that makes me feel better. She has a purpose up there and I know she is doing one heck of a job.

But I still miss her.

It has been rough

The past few days have been really rough with my cousin tragically passing away. Being her cousin as well as a classmate of mine in high school, naturally we would have many of the same friends, especially in a class of 39 people (yes, that is no typo). So it has been my duty to get ahold of all the old friends and inform them of what happened.

The messages I have been getting from everyone have been absolutely wonderful and comforting. It looks like many will come to the wake tomorrow. It will be good to see everyone…that is what friends are for.

I hope I never have to go through this again. It is awful having to summon the courage to inform someone that a friend or relative has passed away. It is even worse to see those same people as sad as I am right now.

It is one thing if someone’s time has come. Her’s hadn’t.

May angels lead you in

I lost one of my cousins today. We went to high school together and were really close. I don’t know why she decided to leave us, but I hope she is in a better place. She deserves it. I just wish it wasn’t so soon.

R.I.P.

Hug someone you love tonight. You never know when they will be gone.