Monday, November 8, 2010

M-Cubed for 11/8/2010

Monday Morning Musings for November Eighth, Twenty Ten. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- My apologies for the lack of blogging this past week.  Last week was one of the worst ever and each day felt like an additional ton of bricks.  There was certainly nothing just "falling in my lap" that I was able to write about.  Luckily, there are things called weekends after really bad work-weeks.

- Ahhh, the weekend.  It started by bolting straight to Columbus from work on Friday for a Navy weekend.  Flu Mist, some awards, a new Navy officer being sworn in, and welcoming home a few sailors from the war zone defined Saturday.  It was a great day to be in uniform.  After drill, I took off on the 90min drive southeast to Burr Oak State Park for the 2nd Annual Bobcat Trail Marathon.  It was great to be back and see many of my trail peeps yet again.  Sunday morning brought clear skies and a frigid 22F.  I started off in a short sleeve tech tee and hat or gloves.  While looking foolish and feeling pretty cold, it was the perfect thing to wear.  I was very comfy about 2 miles into the race and not cold or hot.  My goal for the day was to run between 5 and 26.2 miles.  Since I've been taking it very easy since mid-July, I'm not really trained for the distance but know I could run it on a whim.  Still, my plan was to stop when I felt it was smart.  I took about 60+ pics, stayed at the back of the field, and stopped at 8.9 miles.  By that point, I was missing my 2 girls more than I had in a long time and just wanted to get home.  Thanks to Michelle who was at Tom Jenkins Dam, I got a ride back to the start.  Once showered, I hit the road for home...about 3 hours north.

- Tomorrow night (Tuesday) should be interesting.  I've been asked to talk about running and photography at the SARC Club Meeting.  SARC stands for the Summit Athletic Running Club.  Their new banner that they use at expos, etc. has all my pictures except for one.  I'm really not sure what I'll talk about, though.  Basically, I use 3 different cameras and I take 100s of pictures.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm gathering my favorites into a folder and will show them and do some show-n-tell on the cameras.  The meeting will be at Shady Hollow Pavilion in Sand Run Metro Park at 7pm.

- Pictures from Bobcat through Mile 8.9

- There are 2 openings coming around for the November 2011 Board of Education in my small town.  I've already had a few people come forward and volunteer to be on my committee and am leaning heavily towards getting on the ballot.  I've already contacted the Board of Elections and I can start immediately.  Before then, in May, we'll get our 4th shot at passing an emergency levy for our schools since our community voted it down for the 3rd straight time last Tuesday.  In the previous 2 attempts, we lost 2 to 1.  It was much, much closer this time with twice as many of the voters showing up but still, nearly 1/2 of the registered voters sat at home doing nothing.  Now, an additional $700,000 will have to be cut on top of the recent $480,000 worth of cuts.  We've already began strategizing on how to pass this levy come May 2011.  It's cool, too, that sporadic members of the community are starting to come forward with ideas.

- Some people have a "burning passion" to do "something" with their lives.  They want to be "X" and then they go do it.  What if you (or I) don't have that passion?  Where is the direction found?  That's me in a nutshell.  I didn't grow up wanting to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, small business owner, etc.  I went to school, got a few degrees, served my country, returned to serving my country  (because I missed it so much), and sit here today at 37 years young, still not knowing what I want to do with my life.  For the Type A in me, that is very frustrating...more than I can explain, actually.  What I do know is that being the best husband and father I can be is priority.  A good job is one tool in the toolbox to accomplish that from a support perspective.  Still, I'd love to be on "fire" in my career and be wholly passionate about it.  I see others who are and certainly am a bit envious of them.  On the other hand, I am very thankful for a good job and one that marries up well with a secondary career in the Navy.  It is true, we cannot have all things and it's up to us to figure out how to deal with the hand we're dealt and make the best of it.  One thing I can't shake, though, is the nagging pull to be in the Navy full time.  Not even sure how I could since there is much higher demand for me as a Reservist then full time and guess what, there aren't many ships and oceans in northeast Ohio.  For today, I believe that we are where we are supposed to be.  The future (starting today) can hold anything.

- If you've been here for awhile, you know we changed everything about how we do things financially back last Christmas.  We started living by a budget for the first time in 17 years of marriage, starting paying by cash only, and began a ferocious attack on our debt.  We have NOT last traction and are rolling along nicely.  We are past the halfway point now and only my car and an equity loan remain.  Credit cards are gone, Marjie's Honda is paid for, and we live strictly to a budget and utilizing cash only.  It has completely removed a huge stressor in our lives and has really enriched our marriage.  My car is scheduled to be paid off by the Spring.  We are well on our way to being debt-free (except for the house) by Christmas 2011...24 months after starting.  We do get slowed down here and there by things like this Friday...Marjie's car is due for 4 new tires.  At 63,000 miles, she still has the originals and unless she wants to be ice skating this winter, new tires are a must.  Still, I'd rather spend $400+ for new tires at Sam's Club than a car payment every month for 5 or 6 years.  It definitely doesn't feel good to pay that in the here and cash, but looking at the big picture, it is what we should have been doing all along.  A little side goal of mine is to teach this program locally out of our church but open to anyone in the community.  Plans are underway already to do so.

- Veterans Day is this Thursday.  For the past few years, I've spent it at my kids' elementary school but as far as I can tell, the district is doing nothing to honor veterans this year so I've been invited to another county's school where I'll participate.  (this needs to change, by the way)  I am always off on this day so I'd like to always be involved somewhere.  I'm really looking forward to dinner at Applebee's, too.  They are again offering free meals to ALL veterans this Thursday.  Last year, there were 80 and 90 year olds in their uniforms and the place was packed out.  I will certainly be there for dinner!  (maybe lunch, too) :-)  Golden Corral is also doing it and Outback Steakhouse is offering free Bloomin' Onions and drinks to veterans.

Have a great week, everyone and don't forget Veterans Day this Thursday.  We all know someone who has served or is serving.  Please make it a priority to reach out to them.

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