38 – Looking back


Kev is now 39 years old. The last hand full of years with Michelle have officially been the best years in life for me, and the last year tops that handful. . I can honestly say, in the last year, every day is better than the last and the future looks extremely bright. Mind, Body, Family, Work, Money and Home are all in positive alignment and adding happiness to life.

Mind

Year 38 has been a huge growth year for me – Between reading, running and the commute time my mind is more focused and creative then I ever recall it being.

The new ideas, and solidification of concepts and ideas are over the top for me. I’m coming up with, writing down, and exploring new ideas every day; the juices are indeed flowing. I’ve dove deeper into reading this year than in any year since my teens. Between Kindle, paper, my phone, and audible I’m reading about 15-20 books a month, and a number of long posts on the interwebs tossed in there. All said in the past year I’ve read over 100 books. I say over, because it’s hard to recall them all without a lost. I started tracking them with a book page to better count next year.

The Running affords me at least 30 minutes of focused Kev time on work days where I’m not worrying about hitting another car, and or there isn’t a phone in my hand distracting me. Huge thinking time for me. My average work day starts with me listening to a book in the car for 55-73 minutes on triple spend. Followed by a run for 30 minutes where I think about the book and come up with new ideas. About half of the 100 books were educational, biographical, or historical. When you shove that much stuff in your head It’s impossible to avoid change and growth

I’ve come up with some brilliant ideas for work, home, finance, life, kids, ETC; even applied for a patent this year. Mind is clear, focused and growing – love it

Body

Things aligned for me big time physically this year. I’m running, I’m smaller, My BP is down, i feel better, veins are starting to pop out of my forearms. – immense positive physical progress.

I took up running at age 38 and have finally started dropped some noticeable pounds. Every step of running has been an uphill battle for me. There were a few stretches in my running adventure I had to take a week or three off to heal my shins. With running I asked for help, I’ve cried a bit, and I’ve whined about things hurting. No matter the hardship, I’ve refused to give up – I’ve never stopped never stopping with the running and the never stopping is finally paying off.

End of January I finally managed to complete the full 2.5-mile loop at work. Took me 40 minutes to finish the miles, but I finished it. Today, my last work day running before turning 39, I completed the same loop 10 minutes faster, did not cry at all, and I feel much better afterwards. Granted it took me six months to get here, but I’m getting better every time I run, and the uphill is starting to level off.

In 2015 I had some mild success finally dropping weight. Then holidays and stress, and knocked up momma, and running pain, and excuses hit and those pounds came back. During the first brake to heal and rest my shins, I took three weeks off of running. At the onset of those three weeks I made a decision to deeply commit to being smaller to make running simpler. I set 190# as a goal 10 years ago and have never made it there. I’ve come close, but never made it.

The running has been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve run into in life and it was Big enough to FINALLY motivate me to actually stick to a better diet and hit my decade old goal – My end goal is around 175 -180# where I’m running 5k a day, so I can say fuck it and eat anything I want too! Granted the last time I went on a sugar binge nothing tasted well, so eating anything might not mean much to me anymore. My tastes might be adapting to prefer less sugar and bread; we shall see.

When I allowed fitbit to upload my weight last year it showed me at 218 in Jan or 2015. Around Dec of 2015 I made it back up there again, but stepped off of the scale or turned off the Wi-Fi before my Aria uploaded the numbers, and di don’t capture the weight. Screen shot below is from 6/24. I hit 192# this morning. On my birthday I weighed in at 190#

Family

Family is good. The core of our family is the relationship between Michelle and I. Michelle is the super brilliant wife who matches Kev. Outside of Michelle we have five kids, Trenton, Maddex, Mila, Khaleesi, and Roxi – who all bring joy and happiness to our lives. Maddex and Mila and I are spending time in the lab building things, Baby K is communicating more and more and glows with unlimited happiness all the time; She is our happiest baby. Trenton has a job and spends all of his money and time with cars; mutter. We start every day with breakfast as a family.

I play short order cook most mornings. Momma wants eggs, Mila wants toast, Khaleesi is into eggs and cereal, Maddex is oatmeal, or eggs, or French toast when we let him cook it. The kids are trained to not touch the food until we ring the bell. Once the bell is rung they all scream food, and run towards the table. I have a feeling the sound of the bell ringing might make my kids drool.

All of my kids on top of me.

Michelle and I having a pep talk at the hospital before the Roxi extraction

Works

Work keeps moving into awesome more and more every day. I have a great job at Microsoft, where I’m paid way more than I thought I’d ever make at a Job that’s more fun the work. I’m paid to fix things, and help people become better every day. I was promoted / leveled up this year to a level were bonuses are bigger. All added up I’ve been at Microsoft for 85 months now. Long enough that I get 4 weeks of paid vacation a year, plus sick leave, plus 3 months off for each birth event. Team boss and my co-workers keep telling me I’m doing good work and setting an example for the team – I keep being me — Then there is Wes.

Wes is my main partner in crime at work. One of the highlights of the year has been being able to work with him every day. Due to some management and team changes we were able to pull some strings and end up on the same shift; which is brilliant because we work well together. For the majority of projects either of us are involved in you can find the other. In each other Wes and I have found strong compliments to our strengths and weaknesses whose also an equal in speed of thought, talent, skill, passion, and interests in life… ETC. Having Wes on the same team, and shift has boosted work life balance. Wes and I have reached the level of working as a team where no verbal communications are needed any more when we’re in the heat of a project. He reaches for a tool and I am handing it to him, I’m reaching for some data and he’s handing me the PowerShell output. –

Outside of Microsoft Work I have my other work with Jer Jer as my another equal level person who I work amazing well with and learn from and teach and rely on. I don’t get to see Jer Jer every day until he builds a house next door, but we talk every day and work on projects, and plot world domination. It’s been good to have a few people in life I can count on, and relate to. If I were ever to call Jer Jer and tell him my daughter had a bad date, I know he would be over instantly to deal with the clean-up.

Home

We live on double digit acres we own, in a house we built and designed ourselves. I say all the time walking around, the house how much I love the house and how amazed I am we built it. We end this year having lived in the house for 1 year, and having owned the land for four years. Does not seem like we’ve been on the home building journey for so many years but I guess we have. Building things is now fully a part of normal life. There is always another big project after we finish the one we are working on now. I’m betting we’ll be building mostly full time for the next four years then things will drop into maintenance.

Our current project is the retaining wall and patio. We’re about 75% done with the wall then we’ll need to move some conduits and hot tub power and clean up the area where we will ultimately pour the concrete that will become our mega outdoor patio. An 80×20 concrete slab of awesome in front of the house for use live outside and play on.. My present to myself was finishing off the install of a 36,000 BTU mini split in the main house to provide us with cold air on demand. Once we’ve finished these projects momma should be fully healed from Roxi and we’ll run head long into the bedroom wing and get some walls up.

Money

Michelle and I are saving about 65% or our gross pay, then paying taxes and living off of the rest. If we wanted me to retire I could retire right now and be done. But we’re building more house, and want more than sustenance, so I’ll keep on working Until we have double what we have saved now and the house is all done. All done we’ll break about 10,000 square feet of house built with our own hands. In past years I’ve invested costly complex tools to mitigate legal impact from Trenton’s mom. We’ve most of our investments out of those tools into less costly ETFs and bonds. Finally moved from 90% stocks to a more mixed portfolio that’s as defensive as it is aggressive.

I like the safety of having fuck you / Home Depot money. When to me means I could tell my job fuck you if I wanted too and go work at Home Depot for medical insurance and support the family with no impact to quality of life. Goal for next year is to finish off the house and not increase savings anymore. Once the next wing is done we’ll move all of the building outflow into savings and shot for 70-75% of gross heading into savings.

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