2016, A Review: Intermission for Exotic Fruit Juice

“It’s an exotic fruit juice day.”

When I come home and say those words, my wife* knows. She may not understand what happened, but she understands that it’s been a hard fought day.

The last 3 months of 2016 were exotic fruit juice months.

 

In my last post, I talked about making 2017 great. Why did I skip 2016 year end? Mainly because I’d had enough of 2016.

Mid-October through even the early days of 2017, have been ungenerous. Work has been oozing out of my ears. I made dumb mistakes. I’ve been sick. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to indulge myself with some lowlights.

 

November:
I have a high utilization rate for my work clothes, and because I walk 1.2 miles each way, my pants wear out quickly. As a result, I only had 3 work pants left late in the year. I bought 2 on sale at Uniqlo and got them hemmed. One was perfect. The other was too long. I got it re-hemmed. Too short. Back to re-hemming. I had become the Goldilocks of pants wearing. Due to all the trouble, I negotiated a discount. When I reached into my pocket so that they could credit back my card, it wasn’t there. I left my wallet at home.  No discount until that same manager was on shift again at the end of the week.  Yuck.

(Money Tip: Good stores have leeway in giving discounts — they want happy customers, since happy customers are returning and referring customers.)

Also, remember in my last review how I said that I was going to get serious about increasing my email subscribers?  So in November, I switched to a self hosted site so that I can put up the sign-up boxes you see on the side or bottom.  As I wrote to my subscribers last month, I totally fumbled the transition.  The old posts weren’t transferring correctly.

After I fixed it and the new site was up, I realized the address had changed (the “s” in https is gone) and that I had forgotten to let the readers of the old site know that I was implementing a new site and address.  So I had Connor post the change, but I think it was too late as the old site was “dead.” I lost a lot of my readership, who saw the “404 error” and probably assumed we quit the game.  We also lost our place in the google search rankings.

Well, of course I made it worse. Once I put up the sign-up box, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t connected to a mail provider and also not showing on mobile devices.  All the while I had my first viral post, the sign-up wasn’t working, so we didn’t get any subscribers.

For those of you who decided to sign up despite all the obstacles, I can’t thank you enough!

(Blog Tip: If you’re starting a blog as a business and like WordPress as your platform, just start off with a WordPress.org site to allow customization and things such as sign-up boxes)

 

December:
In late December, I travelled to Chicago on business. I got a cold. A cold gives me a stuffy head. A stuffy head makes me snore. A snoring husband makes my insomniac wife go crazy. So I prop my head on 2 pillows. Sleeping in different positions exacerbates an old football injury and locks up my back. When my back locks up, I’m useless. My lower back (lumbar) vertebra is 2 inches wide, but it carries the weight of my world.

My youngest, Liza, has been throwing tantrums before bed and goes boneless. I can’t lift her up. Heavy trash from the holidays still needs to be taken out. I can barely tug it along. Zack had the stomach flu last night and vomited all over his bed. I can’t carry him like a good father should to the bathroom to get him cleaned up. Today, a wheezy cough here or there locks up my back again.

My body is brittle. Our household work/family process is brittle. My amazing wife has taken on way too much in my heavy season of work.

I wanted to give her the day off, took my kids into my office on Christmas Eve Saturday (so I can also work) and got that $301 ticket. I just found out that I got another ticket on a separate “give my wife the morning off” adventure. This one was $31. In the previous 20+ years of driving, I’ve never gotten a moving violation and maybe 5 parking tickets. I just got 2 in one week.

To end the year on a great note, we took our kids to New York City where I was pretty much on work calls the entire time. In between pushing Liza in a stroller through a crush of people around the Rockefeller tree, during a very tense negotiating call…a pigeon poops on my head. I was so flummoxed, I paused in the middle of defending my rationale on a hot button issue and told everyone on the phone what happened. That elicited a few chuckles at least.  Yucky.

Reliving all of this makes me want to grab a very tall glass of exotic fruit juice.

 

JT and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 3 Months:
I hate whining, so why am I writing this? First, I feel like sometimes bloggers only want to share the successes. But life has downs as well as ups, and these seasons come and go, and I want to give you a fulsome picture of my successes and challenges starting this side-hustle while keeping my job.

Second, it’s cathartic. That’s what’s wonderful about writing. The process of vomiting out your words sometimes makes your emotional stomach feel better. But I want to share something that makes me feel great:

We Gave! At the end of November, we gave $37.50 to the Movember Foundation, which funds research for male-related cancer. This doesn’t mean we made money (yet). It means that I gave now out of future cash flow. It also means I was sick and tired of not giving anything. We are now 0.004% of our goal of $1,000,000!

(If you need a little exotic financial fruit juice in your life, sign-up and get a weekly dose!)

*When I first was married, my wife used to ask me every night: “Wanna beer?” Her vision of marriage was her husband coming home from work, rolling up his sleeves and drinking a beer.

Boy was she surprised when I just wanted exotic fruit juice. I lost man points. To be clear, I drink beer. Lots of it. But I don’t allow myself to connect it with stress — it’s not a coping thing for me. It’s celebratory. And I can’t wait to celebrate the end of this ungracious season with a cold beer!

4 Comments

  • Jackelyn January 5, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Great post! Sorry to hear that your year-end was rough. I must admit your post made me chuckle a bit. Hopefully writing about your experience helped you let go and move forward. Wishing you the best in 2017! 🙂

    Reply
    • JT January 6, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Jackelyn! Great to hear from you! I figure if I can at least make my readers laugh, it will take away the sting. Congrats on your nuptials and wishing you a great 2017!

      Reply
  • JH January 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing your struggles as well as your successes through your blog. Also, this part about beer is admirable: “it’s not a coping thing for me. It’s celebratory.” Cheers to more celebrations in 2017!

    Reply
    • JT January 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      I remember when I first met this charming couple on the Upper West Side who brewed beer. It opened up a whole new world!

      Reply

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