Goodbye, 2013!

I typically combine my annual look-back and resolutions into a single entry, but this year I have decidedly to separate them. 2013 was an ordinary year by most measures, but underneath the waves of change are picking up momentum.

The news of my father’s diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia was the first time when I really felt as if my parents were aging. I had a lengthy seven weeks off Isilon, and I ultimately came to grips with the realization that it wasn’t work fulfillment that I was missing, but something else. In September, Zack’s first son, Cody, was born - happy and healthy, and Melissa and Kevin decided to move their large and loving family of 7+ to Oregon. Now my mother has been diagnosed with acute hypertension thyroid, which is further slowing down my parents ability to travel.

I just celebrated my first Christmas in 35 years without my parents, as all of the children are now on the west coast. I hope we can have many more holidays with our parents, but this shift to the west  marks a big change in our lives. We had a great time though, and here’s a fun video.

I had themed 2013 as RENEWAL and I put my resolutions into three simple categories: Health, Family, and Growth. I have scored them below:


  • Running - (4) half-marathons and three times a week

I ran two official half-marathons (Mercer Island and Seattle) but ran half-marathon distance seven times. I had a hard time achieving a regular schedule with running, especially during the week. I’ll give this a C+.

  • Exercise - daily: running, elliptical, or other

I maintained a daily exercise regiment for about 1.5 months, but stopped trying during winter. This is a solid D-.

  • Moderation - stay away from overeating, drinking, etc.

I modulated most unhealthy behaviors around drinking, over-eating, etc. I still find myself slipping a few areas, so this gets a B-.

Overall, HEALTH is going to be a C- due to lack of follow-through.


  • Focus on positive discipline and outlets for Jerry

I put a lot of effort the last part of the year to get Jerry (and Momo) on a regular night-time schedule, help Jerry around homework discipline, and spend more quality time with him. Of course, Jerry himself has grown and is developing nicely (and he deserves most of the credit.) Still, it took me a while to figure this out so I’ll have to go with a C+.

  • Wean Momoko off of night-time wake-ups

The kids have a regular sleep routine and Momo sleeps great! I do put the kids to bed every night that I’m home (and lay with them anywhere between 10-30 minutes) but it is one of those special moments that I’m blessed to make time for. This is my best achievement of the year, a solid A.

  • Bring back the monthly date night with Eriko

Sadly, I think Eriko and I had only two date nights this year. Since the kids sleeping routine is better, we have more quality time in the evening together but I haven’t achieved my original goal of getting us out of the house. Score: D-

Overall FAMILY score is a B-; I’m really happy here.


  • Weekly Journaling and a Monthly Blog Post

I failed to deliver on this for the seventh year in a row… I haven’t been able to effectively journal or blog since we’ve gotten married (which I think is related to free time more than anything else…) I am installing a writing desk in my bedroom, however, so I have high hopes for 2014. Score: F

  • Projects - a great many! The MG, the Raspberry PI, etc.

I also did not make meaningful progress on the many projects I am actively exploring, but I did improve the electronics lab and home computing environments. I made limited progress on the MG but really need to get the workshop in shape so I can feel more comfortable exploring. Score: D

  • Reading - would love to consume a novel a month.

I didn’t achieve this entirely, but I did read five meaty books (including books 2-4 of A Song of Ice and Fire). Nonetheless, score is an D.

Growth score this year has to be a D-. I didn’t make enough time for myself, or didn’t focus on myself when I had the time.

This wasn’t a great year for moving personal goals forward and it wasn’t a great year in terms of my parents health, but I do believe I did a lot of things to build the base for years to come. This felt very much like a hump year and I’m looking forward to 2014!