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Before yesterdayStill Thinking…

Time Spent

17 September 2020 at 12:19
By: Eric

More than ever I am guessing people are (or maybe are not) noticing how they are spending their time or maybe not as various schedules have been disputed over the last 6 months. I know mine has as I have gone from working in an office every day to working at home daily now.

I ran across this interesting article by Brad Feld titled β€œAre You Spending Your Weeks The Way You Want To? Reading it gave me pause to think myself how I have been spending my time not only in this short 6-month window but over the past 39 years of my life. If this sparks some interest some further reading is the original article that Feld references which is published on Wait but Why titled β€œLife in Weeksβ€œ.

Personally, all the question Feld asked is really the questions I have been searching for over the last couple of months and maybe years at that. I am going to definitely spend some more time thinking through this. In addition, the original article dives in a little bit more and provides more food for thought.

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β€œVeil” by Eliot Peper

28 May 2020 at 09:57
By: Eric

Veil by Eliot Peper (@EliotPeper) was just released a week ago and I really can’t say enough good things about it. If you are looking for a great book then look no further as Eliot has produced another great page-turner after not long ago finishing his most recent sequels.

The book was released on May 20th, 2020, but I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy from my good friend Eliot himself. However, I enjoyed the book so much that once it was released I purchased another copy as well for my collection.

Unlike some of Eliot’s other books, I actually felt like this one started a little slower but that was a good thing. As with a lot of good books, it built you up getting to know the characters and backgrounds. Speaking of, the main character, Zia LeΓ³n seems like your normal humanitarian that leads various aid missions to help areas in need. However, what makes Zia unique is she comes with sass and attitude that fits her well in order to get the job done.

As the first part of the story goes I was trying at times to see how all the pieces were going to fit together. Honestly, it took me a little while to start putting the pieces together, and then all of a sudden a kidnapping happened and I could not put this book down. Not only does the story speed up but more is revealed along the way that made it even more of a page-turner. I soon found out that the adventure was just beginning for Zia.

Eliot does it again by looking into the near future and laying out what might happened due to various social/global issues that are relevant in today’s world. With his ability to research those relevant topics, expand on them to plausible future events and outcomes all while crafting other drama into the story always amazes me. Don’t get me wrong there is more to the story than just social events as friendships are tested, betrayal unfolds, and stubborn relationships rear their ugly heads. Everything centers around Zia and she must deal with them all along the way.

Final Thoughts

The one thing I appreciate about Elito’s books is the way he sometimes weaves things from other books into the mix. I might have only caught one referring to an open-sourced software architecture πŸ˜ƒ but I am sure there were more. Additionally, he finds ways to weave current locations and eating establishments that again makes the futuristic feel of this book that much closer to home.

I have really been enjoying Eliot’s near future books as the concepts and issues are not unrealistic to see come to fruition. Not to mention he always seems to be writing about topics that are big and bold and not just ones that change over the course of a year.

This is again one of those books I really can’t recommend enough. In a time where politics seems to be guiding best practices for how we deal with climate issues, this book takes you to the near future in the path we could be on.

To make sure you don’t miss out on his next books be sure to follow him on twitter (@EliotPeper) and subscribe to his newsletter from his website (http://www.eliotpeper.com/).

As I mentioned I have read some of Eliot’s books before and wrote about them so if you are interested to check out some of his other books go for it as you won’t be disappointed! Here are a couple: True Blue (A Short Story), Bandwidth, Borderless, and Breach.

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Thirty-Nine

24 March 2020 at 09:16
By: Eric

It seems strange trying to look back at the last year when there is so much noise clouding the past couple of days/weeks/months.

I am sure this will be shorter than some of the previous years as I feel like I have a little bit of a mental block. In fact, I was thinking about what I was going to write on the morning of what I deemed 6.2 Birthday miles but I didn’t come up with much. That is not to say that nothing has happened over the past year. Last year I wanted to focus on Embracing things more and trying to cut out things that didn’t bring myself or my family joy. Overall, I feel like we kept moving in the right direction. We all continued to focus on things that brought us joy and in some cases started to let go of others.

One last hike in before the storm rolled in and we had to leave Sedona (Airport Loop Trail, May 2019, Sedona, Arizona)

One of the things as a family we did was a last-minute trip to Arizona last May. We were not planning it at the beginning of the year but as my wife and I started to talk about it it just seemed like a great time to go visit family and also be together as a family. The week turned out great as we spent half the time with our Arizona family and then the other half in Sedona exploring all the trails. In fact, what was only going to be a one night stay we extended it to two as everyone was having so much fun.

Running along the Skywalker trail in the early morning hours (May 2019, Skywalker Trail, Sedona, AZ)

I had a couple overseas work trips this past year and on these travels, I tried my hardest to embrace the surroundings and explore more. While traveling to China I made a point to see the Great Wall and I am happy that I braved the adventure as I found myself along on the wall as I got there so early in the morning (thanks jet lag). Not all of my work trips had such a spectacular sight to see, however, I made the most of almost wherever I went mostly because my early morning or late afternoon runs would lead me to some interesting overlook or park.

Looking towards Tower 23 in the far distance at the Mutianyu Great Wall before the steep climb to come with no one in sight. (May 2019, Mutianyu Great Wall, Beijing China)

Speaking of running, over the past year I continued on with my running and eventually hit a goal that formulated in my mind as the year went on. In October I had hit a mark of running a 5K a day for 365 days. The timing of that seemed to be about perfect as I am looking back at the last 5 months since I don’t think I could have kept it up. However, my running goals have been focused more on distance now and not the consistency of every day running. Some other benefits of my odd running achievement were that I embraced the unknown and talked about my running adventure on a podcast called Off the Couch. It was something new to me and when they reached out I figured why not.

With everything that is going on in the world right now and the focus on physically distancing us and the bans on travel in place as well. I think continuing with the theme of Embracing seems fitting. We are in a very interesting time where my wife and I are both working from home and we have all of the kids with us every day for what might be the end of this school year. In addition, with no after school activities or playdates with friends, this is a great time to be together as a family and do things you always feel you never have time for. My wife and I were just commenting the other day how many weekends or nights do we really have nothing going on. So we are going to embrace this time together as a family and hope we all don’t want to kill each other in the end πŸ˜„.

Previously: 35, 36, 37, 38..

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Today was supposed to be…

14 March 2020 at 08:41
By: Eric

After getting back from a short run earlier this morning I am currently sitting in our kitchen drinking coffee and pondering what today was suppose to be. More specifically, I am sad thinking about what today was supposed to be.

  • Today was supposed to be the start of my son’s last couple of basketball games at their State tournament.
  • Today was supposed to be a continuation of my middle child’s hockey Jamboree where it would be the last time they play with these girls for the season.
  • Today was also supposed to be when my youngest was going to perform on Stage dancing the numbers she has been practicing for the past 9 months.

However, all of those things have been canceled due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Don’t get me wrong for public safety and health of all it was probably the right decision as in the grand picture of life it is not worth it. I am sad that all of my kids are missing the closure of their seasons where they have worked all year for not realizing that this past week of practice was the end.

Now don’t get me wrong, my wife and I are going to try to make the weekend as fun as we can in light of everything else that has been canceled as well. However, in the back of all of our minds will be that we should have been doing something else.

I am sure this is something that will be shared in the future with our kid’s kids and our kids will eventually share with their kid’s kids as the weekend where everything was canceled.

Till next time and we will try to enjoy the free weekend…

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Design Your Future by Dominick Quartuccio

13 March 2020 at 20:30
By: Eric

I can never pass up an interesting book and TCK Publishing reached out to me a while back to take a read through a book they had called Design Your Future: 3 Simple Steps to Stop Drifting and Start Living by Dominick Quartuccio.

Design Your Future by Dominick Quartuccio

Besides the title of this book, I had not heard of Dominick Quartuccio or this concept of drifting that he does do a great job of laying out at the beginning of the book. You will quickly find out in short drifting is just following along the status quo or coasting through life accepting everything that is happening.

β€œPeople do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.”

F.M. Alexander

As someone who has written about habits before and not long ago had a very addicting habit that added up to a lot of miles being run, I was very interested in seeing what the author had to say. Not too far into the book he hits you with some quick questions like β€œAre you feeling bored? Restless? Trapped?” and if your answers are yes then the solution is that It’s Time to Take Back Control of Your Life.

In a nutshell, that is what the book is really based on. The nice thing about this book, in my opinion, is that it is short and very consumable. However, not too short that he doesn’t add some examples throughout each topic. However, It is really broken down into 4 parts which have simple enough concepts:

Awakening

Being aware as you cannot change what you are not aware of. Uncover the habits that are operating in your blind spots. Once your habits are brought out into light you can inspect them and disrupt them.

Disrupting

Disrupting is the process of interrupting your perpetual patterns and breaking the stimulus and response cycle. When you do this, you get immediate and profound feedback on why you do what you do, and how these habits may be serving or oppressing you.

Designing

The first two parts of the book are pretty straightforward as he talks about how to pretty much break down your current habits and thinking in order to get to the designing part. In the designing chapter he talkies a lot about Ultimate authority and how to set compelling goals. This is where he talks about creating new habits that empower your future.

Ultimate authority means taking responsibility for the fact that your life is the sum total of every decision you’ve ever made from the day you were born up until this very moment. This means you get to take credit for the many successes you’ve had. It also means the shit parts of your life are on you too.

Sustaining

The part of the book I think makes the most sense. Obviously, if you have completed the above topics then you have to figure out a way to keep moving forward.

The Awakening, Disrupting and Designing (ADD) Cycle we have just walked through in this book is a process that should be repeated and not a one-time exercise.

The above statement by the author was a great strategic point to make towards the end of the book for a reminder about sustaining. There are a lot of things we do in life thinking if we just do it once all is good. However, in reality, we need to continue to work on things no matter if it is trying to rid ourselves of excess possessions, weight, or anything else. Each day is a new day that you really have to tackle the problem again. The advantage you have as you build up the consecutive days is that it becomes a habit and less you might have to think about in the future.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed the book and if anything it made me think about various things I do and maybe things I have been thinking about changing or doing in my life but haven’t taken that next step. I really did enjoy that the book was a quick read as I could see myself flipping through the pages again at some point in time as it gives off a measure of motivation too.

If you think the book would be interesting to you, it can be found on Amazon or through the publisher’s website (TCK Publishing).

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From the Lens – Backyard Campsite

26 February 2020 at 17:54
By: Eric
Turning our backyard into a campsite in order to really the summer weather seems to be a highlight of our kids (July 2019, Eden Prairie, MN)

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Yard

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From the Lens – Numbers

19 February 2020 at 23:32
By: Eric
Water drops blurring the view of my numbers at the end of a rainy run (Nevada, IA)

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Number

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Off The Couch podcast – Running 5k a Day for 365 Days

18 February 2020 at 23:44
By: Eric

As with my 365 days of running, I really didn’t mention to anyone that I was going to be on a podcast episode of Off The Couch until right now as it went live today. You can find the Episode by clicking the link below or wherever you get your podcasts.

The episode is talking about my 365 days of running a 5k every day. I will give credit to Johnathan Ellsworth and Brendan Leonard the hosts for asking all the right questions to make an episode that was more than 15 min long as we joked about the start of the episode. I had a lot of fun chatting with them and feel privileged to have been on the show as I know they have had some amazing guests.

I hope you give the episode a listen and enjoy the conversation I had with them as I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them. Finally, if you did enjoy it be sure to give their podcast a review on iTunes to help show support for their show. I have only been a more recent listener and am enjoying it as it keeps me company while running and I really enjoy hearing all of the stories of their guests.



A little more about Johnathan and Brendan:

Johnathan Ellsworth is the Founder of BLISTER, not only do they create some amazing Podcasts like Off the Couch which is geared towards runners. They also have other podcasts talking about other outdoor activities like snow sports, biking, and climbing. Not to mention, they review gear and give honest reviews to make sure you are not wasting your time or money so if you are looking to buy some gear check BLISTER out.

Brendan Leonard is the creator of Semi-Rad where he has published tons of articles and charts/drawings that are always great enjoyment. In addition, he has a bunch of books published too. You can find all of this stuff on his website Semi-Rad.com or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Rise of Audiobooks

13 February 2020 at 17:45
By: Eric

These days most of the reading I do is listening to someone read me a book. I have written about this before but I came across this tweet by James Clear laying out that audio is the biggest trend in books.

1) The continued rise of smartphones.

Billions of people already own a smartphone and billions more will soon. That’s a massive force that makes it easy for anyone to always have a book on them.

Crucially, it is much easier to listen to a book on your phone than to read one.

β€” James Clear (@JamesClear) January 24, 2020

2) The continued rise of AirPods, etc.

The proliferation of compact headphones means billions of people will be consuming audio content.

Even if you don’t start as a reader, it’s a small step to go from podcasts or videos to audiobooks. It is the same type of consumption.

β€” James Clear (@JamesClear) January 24, 2020

3) Convenience.

Audiobooks have one quality that makes them very different from print.

With print, you must put in effort to keep reading. With audio, you must put in effort to stop reading. All you have to do is press play.

This makes reading hyper-convenient. A huge win.

β€” James Clear (@JamesClear) January 24, 2020

Honestly, he nailed this in my opinion.

Ease of Listening using Smartphones and Headphones

His first two points around the change in technology I can’t disagree with at all. The increase/change in technology has allowed audiobooks to be much easier to listen too as the technology has provided a very low barrier of entry and use. You can take them with you on the go and not have to worry about finding a cassette or CD player. Yes, you read that right, I just said cassette player. I was in that era where we had walkmans and boomboxes. So not super compact if you wanted to go on a run or walk around the house listening to your book tape. In fact, the first vehicle I purchased out of college had both a cassette and a CD player. Now the van my wife and I just bought 2 years ago doesn’t have either.

The other change in technology that is similar but not specifically called out is a change in media type. As I just discussed with audiotapes and audio CDs, that is more physical stuff you needed to carry around. I remember renting an audiobook tape from the library back in 2004 and it had 10 tapes I had to carry around. I used to make a lot of trips to Chicago from Minneapolis so this is when I first started getting into book tapes as it was a way to pass the 7 hr drive by myself. However, I would have to always make sure to flip the tape or put in the next CD. Now you don’t even have to mess with physical media as you can just download it on your phone, or tablet and go. In addition, it is much easier to get audiobooks, you can still get them for free from the library but now instead of having to go to the library to pick up your cassettes or CDs, you can just download them from Overdrive or something else your library might be connected with. Also, if you can’t get them from the library or don’t want to be put on the waitlist, you can quickly buy them though Audible or other platforms and pretty much listen to it instantly.

Everyone loves Convenience

The third point he makes is the one that is maybe more concerning but even more spot on. I say that it is concerning as I am one of those people. Every year I have this idea in my head I am going to physically read more books but every year I only get though enough to count on one hand. Most of the ones I read like that are advanced copies I get from a friend show writes some pretty amazing books. Honestly, it is the convenience that I continue to stick with audiobooks because I can listen to them while doing a number of other things. I still don’t know if that is a great thing to always multitask while listening to books but I don’t see myself changing that. Most of the time it is when I am running or driving to work. For both of those activities, audiobooks are the perfect multitasking initiative. Also, both of those activities for me have a defined starting and stopping point that doesn’t allow it to flow into other activities.

Another article I was reading titled β€œThe Rise and Rise of the Books you Don’t read” by Clare Thorp touched on a lot of other interesting benefits around audiobooks but one part in there was a different look at the Convenience topic above.

β€œOften audio is not competing with time spent with books,” says Richard Lennon, publisher at Penguin Audio. β€œIt’s people who are either fitting books and authors into their day in new ways, so people who might be existing readers but have found that during their commute or exercising or cooking dinner, there’s an opportunity to listen. Or it’s an alternative to TV for people who are conscious of their screen time.”

Bingo! Richard validated that a lot of the times when I personally listen to books are times I would not have been sitting on the couch reading a physical book. As it would be hard to run down the streets in the morning with a physical book in my hands.

However, I do listen to audiobooks sometimes in the evening as I am doing small tasks around the house. The only issue with this is that it translates into not just sitting on the couch and relaxing or winding down. It then has me wandering all around the house doing various projects and tasks. Then what ultimately ends up happening is that I continue to listen to it much longer and stay up later than I was anticipating. These are the times that go against what Richard was talking about as it isn’t really a new way and I just cut out a good way to get back to physical books. In fact, these specifically are the times I should have reached for the physical book instead and the more times I don’t I find the more times I don’t even think about physical books.

So are you going to change any of your habits?

Probably not. Honestly, I do know I am taking the easier way out by listening to books instead of physically reading them but it works for me. Maybe when I am older and have some more time on my hands to sit by a fire or on my couch in the afternoon I will read more physical (or even digital) books.

For now, they are a good companion while running and driving to work so I don’t see that changing. The only thing I might try to change very slightly is to listen to less in the evening in a way to either try to read a physical book or do something else with my time.

How about you? Do you listen to audiobooks and what are your thoughts around it?

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From the Lens – Bounding through the Snow

12 February 2020 at 21:27
By: Eric
This dog loves bounding through the snowdrifts in the backyard to chase the kids (January 2019, Eden Prairie, MN)

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Action

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It’s Your Ship by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

28 January 2020 at 07:18
By: Eric

It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff is a really good book if you are ever contemplating a management position or are currently in a management position. The story does a great job laying out examples of how Captain Abrashoff took a poor performing ship in the navy to become one of the sought after ships people wanted to be assigned to.

Even though most of the concepts are not new in this book nor do I think the author claimed that the methods he used were entirely his own. I do think how he accomplished them is very interesting and sheds some light on how he thought about things differently during his command. In fact, many of his stories are how he tried doing something one way only to talk through and come up with a better way. It goes to show you that he too was learning through the process from day one.

Of course, trying something new is never easy. For one thing, there aren’t any precedents to guide you. And that can be a very good thing.

Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

Now, as much as I enjoyed the book I feel how it was laid out did not necessarily flow as well as I would have liked as I feel he repeated himself from time to time. The reason for that is obvious as he was breaking down chapters into Management topics and not in the chronological order that events happened. It is just something to think about as sometimes I was trying to figure out in what order he started to do certain things or implementing new tactics.

Takeaways

Different than some of my other book reviews I am going to just write out a couple of notes I took that may or may not be helpful to you. Now as I mentioned the book is very focused from a managers prespective. However, the notes I took could be turned inward as well. Depending on your line of business or work you do because in all honesty aren’t we kind of an employee even if it is for ourselves?

As I read the book the following themes stuck out to me that could be used in any situation depending on how you read it.

Lead by Example

This seems to go without saying. Can you actually do what you are asking others to do? Also, if you got different results than you were expecting to ask yourself his simple questions:

  1. Did I clearly articulate the goals?
  2. Did I give people enough time and resources to accomplish the task?
  3. Did I give them enough training?
  4. Listen Aggressively

Abrashoff got personal in his discussions with the crew while learning about their personal lives, why they joined the Navy and their thoughts on how to improve the ship. By taking the time to listen and not just give orders he discovered that he had a crew of smart, talented, and innovative men and women, but they weren’t being heard. This can be true in many interactions today, sometimes the best thing to do is listen to the other people instead of making sure your voice is heard. You might find something out that can be more beneficial to your purpose or goal.

Communicate with Purpose

No matter how fantastic your message is, if no one is receiving it, you aren’t communicating. It is up to you to clearly define the mission and vision of the organization and then to communicate clearly and concisely.

Take risks

Everyone in an organization must feel comfortable taking calculated risks. The key is to know the parameters in which they can take those calculated risks and that everyone understands that you might not always win. Remember to not over encourage perfection as it will limit your ability to think creatively and take risks.

Praise

As a manager myself I found this one spot on with his quote.

Show me a manager that ignores the power of praise and I will show you a lousy manager, praise is infinitely more powerful than punishment.

Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

However, as with most of these points above, the simple act of giving praise to someone even if you don’t have a working relationship as the book describes can go a long way. There are a lot of people putting stuff out there and the act of giving recognition might seem small for you but 100x the effect for the person receiving it.

Conclusion

I would recommend this book as I found it an interesting read with a couple of good takeaways. I don’t think this book is for everyone as some of the takeaways can be found in other books. However, I enjoyed hearing the stories of how Captain Abrashoff achieved his success.

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From the Lens – Snow Tree

22 January 2020 at 21:09
By: Eric
Snow covered tree in April (April 2019, Eden Prairie, MN)

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From the Lens – Air Travel

15 January 2020 at 21:01
By: Eric
Traveling above the clouds is an enjoyable way to travel. In fact, it is a great way to give you different vantage points on thing (Somewhere from AZ to MN over the mountains, May 2019)

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From the Lens – Ancient Sewer

7 January 2020 at 17:54
By: Eric
Stone sewers built by Roman engineers in Cologne Germany
Walking through the stone sewers built by Roman engineers (February 2018, Under the Grossed Budengasse street, Cologne, Germany)

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From the Lens – Jump

1 January 2020 at 11:53
By: Eric
Jumping into the New Year and Decade (July 2018, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado)

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Keep Going…

21 December 2019 at 00:58
By: Eric

Some days you just have to keep going. That is what I told myself as I hit mile 2 of my 3.1 mile loop I have run many times before.

So what did I end up doing? Well, I just added on another 3.1 mile loop in a completely different direction in order to just keep moving along.

I had originally planned to do a longer run today so I set my alarm really early to ensure I would have enough time to get it done. When the alarm went off I was just too comfortable laying in bed that I stayed there for a really long time. Finally, after a lot of time ticked by I told myself I had wasted enough time laying around and I should get outside to run. However, I figured I only had time for 3.1 mile route instead of the one I was planning on doing.

Looking at the sunrise after a great long run (December 2019, Eden Prairie)

Being a little bummed about not doing what I had planned, I was glad that I got outside to do something instead of skipping it altogether, which was also on my mind. I didn’t feel great running at first either so I knew just sticking to an easier route was a good plan so then I could get home and have some time before I rushed off to work. However, as I looked at my watch and realized I was at about 2 miles into my run and approaching my house I thought why not just continue and run another 3.1 mile loop that goes a different direction.

So that is just what I did and I continued on a different route.

β€œIt’s not so much that I began to run, but that I continued”

Hal Higdon

You might be wondering why I shared the story above with you but stick with me and read on πŸ™‚

I was glad to have extended my total run to the full 6.2 miles I had planned to run the night before. Even though I took a completely different route than planning, I ultimately achieved the same goal I set out to accomplish.

Reflection on Paths and Moving Forward

As I reflected on that driving to work today I realized a lot of people (me included) focus too much about what path we planned to be on in order to reach our end goal. However, by being so focused on the current path we could be losing sight of what we really want as an end goal. In fact, we could miss a turn that might take us off the current route but still headed in the right direction overall.

This has happened to me quite a few times most specifically in careers or jobs. I know what I would like to be doing down the road from now or how that might look. However, sometimes I get so stuck in a role (path) thinking it will eventually get me there as I had originally planned. Then another year goes by and I realize I am no closer to where I would like to end up and in reality, I might be further behind or off track. If only I would have stopped ignoring other interesting routes that would probably lead me to the same destination as my goal.

Ultimately, I am beginning to learn that taking small steps and keeping the course is a good thing in life as long as you continue to move forward. However, you should make sure you are aware of your surroundings and make sure you aren’t just following a path because that was your original plan. You also need to make sure you are keeping your head up and making sure you aren’t so focused on the trail in front of you that you might be passing up other opportunities.

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From the Lens – Lainey Lou the Doodle

18 December 2019 at 13:45
By: Eric
Lainey Lou the Doodle
Lainey Lou the Doodle our Families Best Friend and common fixture in our household. (September 2019)

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Mini Sabbatical

13 December 2019 at 13:55
By: Eric

A couple weeks ago I was on what I called a mini sabbatical but in reality, it was just a week off of work before I started a new job. During that week I fully appreciate and understand why rest is important. I think the overall concept of time away from work is something more companies should figure out how to offer. I know some companies have programs like actual sabbaticals after putting in a number of years at companies. I think the idea is great and I think it could be something done on a smaller scale too. I think the most important aspect is to figure out how to allow people to have some time away from where they can really disconnect.

Disconnecting is what you hear about all the time now and after a week of being fully disconnected, I know there are benefits there. I have always taken time away to spend time with family and I would say I was β€œdisconnecting” from work. However, I was never truly disconnected. I was still getting work emails on my phone and more often than not I carried my work laptop with me to where I was going. So in theory as much as I was saying I was β€œdisconnected” I was still connected by checking and making sure nothing went wrong back at work while I was away. Even if I wasn’t responding to anything, I was still glancing through things to make sure nothing big was going on and filling stuff away in order to make it easier for when I got back to work.

Eerie looking sky leaving work by myself late on a Friday for the last time (November 2019, MTS Systems, Eden Prairie, MN)

However, on this β€œbreak” I didn’t have email or work issues that came up or even could be brought my attention. When I left work on my final day, my email and connection to that job disappeared as well. I was unemployed as I was in between jobs and it was great. I was hoping that my wife and I could have escaped somewhere fun for a couple of days but seeing how this wasn’t planned very far in advance. So my wife still had to work and the kids still had school and their normal after-school activities.

However, that was honestly perfect for me as it allowed me to do more with the kids before and after school as I was still there. However, it also gave me a chance to just do random things during the day from 9am – 4pm when my kids were at school. I took the dog to the dog park where she was just in heaven as there wasn’t anyone there and she could just run around as fast as possible.

I might be spoiling the dog this week as we have been to the dog park twice already (November 2019, Flying Cloud Dog Park, Eden Prairie, MN)

I spent the week doing things I enjoyed but honestly, I could have had another week to get even more stuff done as I had planned on taking the time to read a book (yep never happened). I did make sure to sneak in a couple of long runs, multiple runs per day, as well as a fun park that was a lot of hill running but worth the views.

Running the sloped trails to enjoy the scenery in and around the park was a great way to spend a day off (November 2019, Richard T Anderson Conservatory, Eden Prairie, MN)

In fact, I even met up with my cousin for a run one of the days I was off. It was good to get outside as well as catch up with her.

Had a great time enjoying the beautiful weather running around Lake Harriet and catching up with my cousin yesterday (November 2019, Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, MN)

Finally, I took my wife out on a couple of lunch dates where we could take our time eating and just enjoy each other’s company with nothing big to rush to the next event or worry we are paying some babysitter to allow our kids to watch TV at home :).

I am sad that my time away from work is over as I am now three weeks into my new job. However, I am going to think of ways going forward that I can take a week off and just be at home as disconnected as I can. Another thought is to just take some random days off here and there where I can just do my own thing without other priorities or reasons for taking the day off. I believe that would allow me to be refocused and refreshed going back to work the next day.

Have any of you ever just completely disconnected from work? If so what did you think of it and was it helpful?

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From the Lens – Foggy

11 December 2019 at 10:22
By: Eric
Golden Gate Bridge
Fog covering the top of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge (San Fransisco, August 2010)

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