Heading into 2019…

Heading into 2019…

Another year, another post…you have to laugh at the blistering speed of my blogging! I cringe at the thought of the amount I have spent maintaining this site each year (you’re welcome WordPress!) versus the amount of use. Maybe this year will be my breakout blogging year…but then again…

Looking back and looking forward, all is good. 2018 was a good year that saw a number of trips for work and for play; continued love; an attempt to learn the guitar through actual taking of lessons; and a number of efforts to increase my skills in photography. (Forward those into 2019, please!) The girls continue to grow, experience life and make me a proud dad. The elder has started her college career, and is off to a strong start while still working to figure out what she would like to major in. The younger continues to amaze me with her EQ. Watching them both grow and mature as young adults is exactly what parenting is all about. They amaze me every day.

I am still working to identify my theme for 2019. Last year, it was No Boundaries…not sure that i achieved that in my day to day, but overall, it was a blessed year that I am very thankful for. I am thinking that it will be a theme focused on Challenges, or Growth, of Experiences and Impact. Working on identifying 12 monthly challenges that will push me to grow, to fail, to succeed, and, most importantly, to live each day as the gift it is.

“Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.”


Thinking about my challenges for this year, I come back to improving and practicing my photography, continuing on my guitar lessons, focus on my overall health and fitness…you know, the usual. But also focusing on my career growth, improving my skills and taking on new challenges. New income opportunities, new travel destinations, reading more books, and finding something completely new that I haven’t even thought about yet.

January’s challenges…focus on new fitness. I am committing to 31 days of Yoga. I have never done yoga before. My physique doesn’t scream yoga. I am not flexible. (Can’t touch my toes without bending my knees.) But as I journey through the Middle Ages, I am looking for ways to expand and challenge my daily fitness of running and biking. Stay tuned…

I have also invested in Cross Country skis. We don’t have enough snow yet here to use these, but holding out hope that winter shows up and I can add this to my winter fitness. I will spare you the story of the last time I tried this activity, but will say it was about 35 years ago and didn’t end well.

I am also still on the challenge of taking time each day/week to improve my skills as an amateur photographer. Maybe this will turn into a photo blog.

I am still drawn and intrigued with the art of blogging. So for now, “Thoughts from Middle Life” will continue forward, just like we all do in this world. If you have found my posts, thank you for staying and reading my annual thoughts. Its something about this year…a time to reflect back on the year and look at the year ahead…full of opportunity and potential. I wish you all the best in the year ahead. What challenges are you focused on in 2019? Make them good ones.

Stop back again. Life is good here in the Middle Age.



Ummmm….really?  2018?  Where did 2016 go?  What about 2017?   Talk about infrequent posts and non-existent blogging.  I echo my thoughts from years ago…

What is it about this time of year that prompts me to visit this blog and share? 

I think it comes down to the beginning and ending of another trip around the sun, and the quiet post-holiday, deep in the winter stillness.  Like a fresh snowfall, the year spreads out ahead of us untouched and clean.

I am drawn to the potential of blogging, but the activities of my life seem to prevent me from being a regular poster.  Is it because I feel like I need to have deep, meaningful, moving topics to share?  Probably.  I am surrounded by people who are more creative than me who leave deep and meaningful posts.  Is it my excuse of not having enough time?  Just as likely, but more of an excuse…as I try to mark thoughts and quotes in my calendar on a regular basis.  No, I think at the end of the day my intentions are pure, but my follow through needs some work…besides, I continue to keep this site active.  Who knows, maybe one day “Thoughts from Middle Life” will be found by someone who can relate and will enjoy my thoughts.  Who knows, maybe this will just become my trail of bread crumbs left on the internet by-way.

So lets see if I can mark some highlights from 2016, and more importantly, 2017…as I don’t claim to have the best memory.

  • Found a wonderful woman to spend time with.  She makes me happy and we have many common interests, enjoying the same things but most importantly, enjoying time together and each other’s company.  Coming up on two years, believe it or not.
  • Girls continue to grow and do amazing things.  The eldest is a senior and evaluating her college and university options.  The youngest is just getting into high school.  Both bring joy, smiles and energy to my life…all the time.
  • Enjoyed winters skiing, including mountain trips.
  • Enjoyed summers boating and running – went a bit crazy and bought a Sea Doo.  There is both peace and energy on the water…so much fun.
  • Traveled to amazing places for work – Tokyo, Mexico City, Munich, London, Dallas, Redmond, and Charlotte…just to name a few.  I continue to work with a great company and great people doing great things.
  • Still want to expand my skills in photography.
  • Have bought a guitar in hopes of getting inspired to learn how to play.
  • Continue to expand my mind through books and professional development.

So what excitements will 2018 bring?  Hopefully more adventure, love, and experiences.  Maybe I will get motivated to start something new, improve my skills, blog a few more entries, take a chance, run a few more races, ski a few more runs and walk a few more miles.  But most importantly, remember to appreciate each day and thank God for all in my life.

Time to get on with my day, dear reader.  If you have found this post, then thank you for stopping by…don’t forget to pause each day to appreciate where you are…life is still good here in the Middle Age.

The Captain

(photo courtesy of Lake Superior Magazine, photography by Christian Dalbec)

One last thought about 2015

What is it about this time of year?  Why is the last week in December the week I feel the need to write, blog, share, connect and reflect?  Maybe its that last one, reflection.  The end of the year and the excitement of a fresh one.   Did I live life the best I could this year?  Did I make the most of those opportunities with my daughters?  Did I love enough?  Did I laugh enough?

2015 was not my best year by any stretch.   Divorce and the untangling of two lives intertwined for the better part of two decades is not something that is easy, even under the most amicable of circumstances.   The loss of family to cancer is no way head into the holiday season.   Endings are not what you live for, usually, especially these types of endings.  Its been a tough road, lonely with a lot of self reflection, blame, anger and downright sadness.

But through this past year, I have rediscovered and reconnected, reflected and repaired, and had many realizations.   This time of year many are sharing their wisdom and insight for 2016, how to make the most of life, etc.  It can be very overwhelming to say the least.  Especially to a guy like me.   Especially right now, when I am looking to be better, to grow, to learn yet stay true to who I am…because who I am is not that bad.  (at least I don’t think so.)  My journey through middle life in 2015 ends for me with the following lessons:

Life is a gift, not an obligation.  Live like it.

Take time every day to find the beauty, because its there

Gratitude is key – find at least three things each day to be thankful for

Be the best you

You can’t control the actions and feelings of others, take the love (and the hurt) and dance in the moment

Finally, and this is the most important for me this year…it’s over.  Time to start a new chapter, a new year with new opportunities.

Be excited for what will be.

The Captain.

Welcoming Winter

It finally came.  Winter arrived this week with an exclamation point.  First the cold, rain, freezing rain, ice, finishing with snow.  Not as much here than elsewhere, but enough to bring the clean, fresh coating of white to the drab of fall.  This time  of year the snow also brings the festivity of Christmas.  There is nothing better than snow for Christmas. 

Of course, after the snowstorm comes the crisp, clear, “cold-as-hell” mornings with the below zero temps… beautiful in that it brings the sun that shines brilliantly on the fresh snow.  Beautiful in that I can stand at my window with my cup of coffee and admire the landscape from the warmth of my fire.


Its been a year…

After having this site established for over a year…I should probably post some things to my domain.  So I am going to mix things up and try and post a picture a day.  I recently updated my phone to the incredible Nokia 1020 w/ that amazing 41 megapixel capability.

Here is my first, of hopefully, many pictures from my middle age.  I introduce you to my middle dog.  A great companion to travel with through middle age.

Middle Dog

The Captain