It's been a long, long, long, l-o-n-g few years. Mitigating the pandemic, buying a house, handling work stress, and trying to redefine a post-Mountain Rescue existence has been challenging. Certain areas (like this blog) have suffered more than others. I used to try to write a handful of posts every month, and… yeah. Anyways, now that we're a few weeks into the new year, it's past time for me to think about what 2022-Jacob will be up to.
For the last few months of 2021 I tried something different - trail running. I mean, it only makes sense. I've been running on sidewalks and roads for decades, yet I go out on weekends and do crazy hikes and backpacks. Why not work on navigating trails and building up leg stability while running? There's a little mountain park about four miles from our house, so I've started biking there and running the sand-and-rock trails, making a great 15+ mile dual-exercise routine. This easily could blossom into a new long-distance passion; for now, it's a solid after-work relief.
Yes, I'm still getting out for adventures: continuing to chip away at the Galiuros, getting the kids out on longer Superstition hikes, and occasionally going on crazy-long dayhikes. There just wasn't that many in the second half of 2021. My personal challenge in 2022 is to go on at least one long dayhike and backpack every month, though the split between family and solo will fluctuate. My eldest son came up with the idea of hiking every trail in the Superstition Wilderness, which I have absolutely been supportive of.
I've built a real mess with my current personal websites. There's a waterfall site, lifestream, portfolio (kind of), blog, homepage, and in the end it just means a lot of custom code. My plan for this year is to consolidate. The waterfall site is very specialized and will continue to live by itself, everything else will likely be condensed to a single platform. There's some boring technical details (moving to the cloud, containerizing, upgrading to a modern stack) - in the end, I just want a simpler application that is easier to support.
Okay, this one is years away. However, when Katie and I bought a house last year, it made me realize just how irresponsible our finances have been over the years, and how lucky our current situation is. Our kids will be with us for another fifteen years or so, and before that time slips by I want to have a plan for what type of retirement we want to have. There are some older people that I've met over the years that have some epic lifestyles, and I have every intention on remaining active and healthy as long as I can.
The last two years have been tough. I do think we're through the worst of it - our kids are back in school, both Katie and I are employed, and as a family, we've never been stronger. Work is stressful, and I'm not sure that will ever change, but at least I have a solid home to lean on, and I'm very thankful for that.