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Colum

Day Care and the Baby Flu

I suppose I’ve always been pretty lucky to be healthy, even in years where I haven’t banked on the flu shot (read as: too lazy to get the shot), I’ve never really had to deal with being sick beyond the point where I couldn’t politely manage it with some Kleenex and some hand sanitizer.

Scratch that…. my eyes have been opened and now I truly understand the value and the beauty that is being healthy. Not only has this been a very eventful flu season for us, it’s been by far the most sick I’ve been in my entire life.

First things first, I’m 100% certain that the next mega pandemic will establish itself within the efficient germ sharing confines of a daycare.

That’s right, our son has started in daycare and with it, our house has been turned upside down. He however, loves it and rightfully so, he’s actually doing great. Sure he’s had a perpetual runny nose, a cough that comes and goes, and has conquered a fever or two, but that’s all part of building an epic immune system right?

I had been warned by work colleagues further along in the parenting funnel that the worst was yet to come. “Just wait” they said, “once day care starts, you won’t know what hit you”. But (of course) I naively choose to believe that, that simply was not going to happen to me. I mean, I’m healthy! I don’t get sick, I get my flu shot, an app on my phone tells me that my Heart Rate and Blood pressure are optimal. Not to mention, I drink my fluids, I work out, and I have chicken noodle soup sometimes just for the hell of it. Ha! So unbelievably wrong!

I suppose I have an excuse for my naivety, having gotten a little old and not having been around kids for a while, maybe I took the societal benefits of common hand washing, covered coughs, and not being vomited on for granted.

Not only have I never been this sick, I’ve set new personal records for:

  •  Sick Days (as depicted below: daytime cartoon binge watching in bed)
  • Vomiting (ya… awesome)
  • Laundry cycles
  • Bed/crib sheet changes

Oh well, we’re all getting our immune systems upgraded and stress tested together and another significant plus: the stomach flu is a great ab workout.

But, look at this guy, cuddled up, watching tv…. I wouldn’t change a thing… well except maybe the vomiting.

 

A photo posted by Colum Furey (@csfurey) on

The Year Ahead: Resolutions for 2016

I had mixed success in tackling my 2015 resolution list. Really where I failed to cross items off my list was simply because I consciously refocused a lot of my time being a Dad or I exercising crap time management (read as too much TV, or too exhausted to do anything).

However, 2016 is a new year that despite everything that’s going on, holds some bold promise and potential to be the greatest year yet. I’m really looking to challenge myself in 2016, become healthier, become more resilient, refocus and aggressively develop for the future, and achieve a much better defined work/life balance.

But overall, I want 2016 to be the year where I follow through on everything; Where I act on ideas, overcome obstacles and cut out detractors. I want 2016 to be a year that is defined by Action, change, and Tremendous Fun.

Education Challenge

Every time I go back to Halifax or I visit another University Campus I feel the draw. In 2016 this is something I’m finally going act on as I’ve been scoping MBa programs for a while now. I’ve already signed up to write the GMAT and I’m burying myself in study. I don’t know where this will end up yet, but I’m resolving to make some applications for 2017 this year. More details on this will surely come.

Reading & Writing Challenge

I suffered several starts and stops in my goal to write 1000 words per day a last year. Nowhere is that shortcoming better exemplified than here on this blog with a Whopping 8 posts for all of last year.I did get on a bit of a hot streak with books over the summer but ultimately all fell victim to a bad work/life balance.

This year, I’m challenging myself to read 26 books (averaging 1 every 2 weeks) and nail an average of 1000 words per day for a grand total of 365,000 words written/published/saved by year-end.

Fitness & Health

I got off to a pretty solid start in 2015,  however I then fell into a sad state or repair only to get reinvigorated through the last quarter of the year. I’m looking to keep some momentum up now and have 2016 be the year I become the fittest I’ve ever been. I want to crush my marathon PR of 3:40 and really work on strength training. Like my first running coach used to say “The hardest step you take on any run is the first one out the door”, well one day into the new year and I’m still on track.

Home Improvement Projects & Business Hobby Challenge

My wife, Jen and I have talked at length about getting a new hobby together. We used to paint and do pottery before the need for a babysitter changed things. During the summer we’re pretty frequently in the garden together but with half of the year consumed by Winter here, we need something else. In 2016 we’re going to pursue a business opportunity and see where it goes. There are those that say never work with family, and then there are those that couldn’t be happier working couple teams. Either way, it won’t be our primary employment (at least not at the start), it’ll be strictly a hobby, so we’ll see where it goes.

I’m looking to catch up on some deferred projects from 2015 over the course of the year. Namely, put in a retaining wall and re-landscaped garden in our back yard, a built-in fire pit, and finishing the Garage interior. On top of that there’s a host of more minor home improvements that are on the list. Ultimately, we’re looking to position ourselves to take advantage of what looks like it may be a pretty active real estate market in Calgary in 2016.

Geek Hobbies

On the other side of things, I want to get back into being an engineer at home. At my Day job, I work much more in a Project Management Capacity with my technical work focused almost exclusively to conceptual design. I am feeling the NEED to create and make again. To this effect I’m looking to refresh my coding skills with some small little projects and work on hacking some hardware. I have my eye on a couple of projects already with some of the hardware already on hand:

  • First Up: raspberry Pi powered Weather Monitoring Station with a webserver for displaying measurements
  • Solar Powered Garage
  • Micro wind Turbine Build
  • Travel Hacking: I’ve lost my airline status and I’m dreading losing the perks for whenever our next trip is. I’m committing to learning up on and getting into Travel Hacking. Why pay full price when you can go for almost nothing?

2016 is a new year and it holds some bold promise. I’m anxious to get started and looking forward to sharing the adventures and the lessons.

#LetsGetStarted

Reflecting on 2015

2015 has been an incredible year. Sure, it goes without saying that it has been an incredibly turbulent year for the industry in which I currently make my livelihood, but it has also been an amazingly satisfying and life changing year. It’s been a year filled with some pretty amazing firsts, some great success and some inspiring albeit painful lessons.

A year ago, having only been a father for a little over a month, I set some ambitious goals, not truly appreciating what was ahead of me or just how important my new role as a Dad would become to me.

family_2015_Fotor_Collage

Family

Over the last year our little son has blossomed. He’s developing a real personality and his true inquisitive and exploring nature are beginning to show. Having started the year at just over 6lbs, he’s now heading north of 24lbs. It’s fair to say most of my waking time has been spent, playing with, minding, teaching and just getting to know our son. I can’t wait for 2016. Being a father has proven to be so much more rewarding than I ever thought, it’s given me new focus and new meaning in life.

travel_2015_Fotor_Collage

Travel

Having a young baby prioritizes where money is spent a little differently than I had figured, but then again, this is my first time being a parent and even despite this we managed to enjoy some pretty epic vacations. In April we zipped off for a couple of weeks to Maui. It was and still is the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever taken, and that was with a 5 month old! We traveled across the country visiting family, seeing my sister graduate from law school,  my cousin get married, celebrating milestone birthdays for both grandfathers, Thanksgiving in Ottawa and Christmas in Newfoundland. Even with all these trips, we still didn’t manage to preserve our airline loyalty status, but more on plans around that to come.

 

2015_run_performanceHealth And Fitness

I had hoped to run several raves and a couple of marathons in 2015. While I still did manage to get in almost 85hrs of running totaling 943km throughout the year, I didn’t manage to get in a single race.

 

Businesses & Ambition

Not a lot of good news here. My side businesses have proven to not be focus areas for me in 2015. Partly due to my focus on being a Dad and partly due to poor management of my personal time, I haven’t gotten anywhere close to what I had hoped to achieve in 2015 with App Development and some of the other startups I contemplated with friends.

 

 

What Went Well:

Family Focus: At the End of 2014 we added our Son Charles to our family. It’s been an amazing whirlwind of change to every aspect of our life and although there has been some sacrifice the addition to our lives has been amazing. Time seems to be flying by as we watch our little man grow up.

Travel: We made a lot of great trips in 2015 that were predominantly family focused. So many great memories and great times had! In 2016 we’re looking to set some of our traditions, but more on this to come.

Fitness: I’m 7lbs lighter than last year with a resting heart rate now around 44bpm. My blood pressure is great and my average casual pace (with a dog) is down to 5:24/km. It’s a good news story but there’s room for improvement with speed work and strength training.

 

What Didn’t go so well:

Personal Time Management: With the change in our household of having a baby, coping with the stress of an economy and industry close to implosion, and having a demanding day job have essentially shattered any time management practices I’d had in place. I’ve tried repeatedly and failed to set aside time for working on projects, hobbies, training and development. Huge area for improvement here.

Business & Projects: Further to the above, side businesses and projects were essentially a total bust in 2015. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this over this Christmas vacation and will have more posts coming on plans to regroup and deal with this. I made some not insignificant spend on some of the startups and learned some lessons that I’m looking forward to sharing.

Racing: 2015 was a year of absence for me from the road running circuit. I’m looking forward to better planning out my calendar for 2016 and avoiding the conflicts that forced some of my withdrawls while getting stronger and faster than ever.

With the NYE countdown now ringing along and only a few more hours to go, I’m more than ready to get a start in 2016, I’m setting some pretty ambitious targets for myself with some pretty clear focus, but more on that to come.

 

Into Fall and End of the Drought

It’s fall, there’s no denying it in Calgary. The leaves quickly turned and have mostly fallen to the ground. Neighborhood lawns are peppered with Election signs and warm sunny summer days are just fading memories.

The quick onset of Fall in Calgary is something that still 7 years after moving here sort of catches me in an annual state of surprise. It seems like the leaves only begin turning and then suddenly they’re on the ground and covered in that first, although temporary, blanket of snow. 

  
Admittedly, the maintenance and updating of this website had fallen by the wayside during my first very very busy summer as a Dad. However, with a calmer onset of fall and with our son sleeping like a champ, I’m hoping to catchup on a serious backlog on my to-do list, which actually extends back to my pre-parent status. Stay tuned, more to come.