2017 - A New Blog Direction & Life Update

As you may've noticed, I don't really post here terribly often. A big reason for this is I envisioned starting a tech blog as opposed to just a personal blog. The problem is, technical blog posts take a lot of time and thought to write, and I'm not a huge writer. That said, I would like to start getting in the habit of documenting my life a little more, so from this point on I'm going to just blog about whatever is going on and assume nobody reads it as I assume now 👍

A stressful summer

Around the end of July, I got a call from my mom stating that my dad had a heart attack. I drove up to Chicago to see him a few days later, when he was in the ICU. It was a rollercoaster of good news and bad news, and generally just a really stressful few days in the hospital. As things were looking optimistic, I headed home. A few weeks later I got another call that my dad had passed away. He was 71. I don't want to go into too much detail on this, but July and August were just difficult months. And I missed the solar eclipse due to the timing.

New habits

The silver lining this summer is that I picked up a few good habits. For the drive home from Chicago on my first trip, I picked up an audiobook to listen to. I've never tried listening to audiobooks, and it turns out I rather like it. I've finished 9 books in about 6 weeks now. I decided that I would start doing some cardio to lose weight, and listening to audiobooks while exercising turns out to be a great combination.

In addition to that, I finally decided to seek some counseling for my anxiety issues. I've been pretty sure I've had generalized anxiety disorder for the last 2 years or so, but the summer putting my anxiety over the top made me realize that this issue won't get better unless I make a conscious effort to treat it. The daily exercise helps with this too, so all the new self-improvement efforts have a nice synergy.

Goals for the rest of 2017/2018

My big goal for the remainder of 2017 is a weight loss goal. In total, the hope is to lose 36 pounds in a span of roughly 22 weeks. So far I've lost about 6 pounds, which is slower progress than I hoped for. I'm adding intermittent fasting (starting with a 16:8 every day) in addition to calorie counting + cardio. I've never tried intermittent fasting as part of a weight loss regimen, so it'll be interesting to see what the effect is.

While in Chicago, my sister mentioned that she ran a marathon and she was planning on running another one next year. Being the little brother, I have a very strong "if she can do it, so can I" attitude. Setting realistic goals, the plan is to run a half marathon in the first half of 2018. If that goes well, I can shoot for a full marathon for fall 2018/spring 2019. I'm not rushing to get to the full marathon, mainly because I'd rather avoid injury and gradually ramp up to that type of distance.

What else?

Work is work, I just finished writing a few services in scala. Most of my focus is still R & Python, working with data scientists. Getting some time to play with a compiled language writing REST services is a nice change of pace.

Life is starting to feel a little more normal.