After 35 years of life, I have a few things to say.

Monthly Archives: December 2013

It is time once again when everyone reflects on the past year, thinking of all the things they wanted to get done and didn’t, all the things they accomplished, and things they never got around to. I am no different. It seems year after year that I set major goals for myself and always fall short. This year, I am changing it up. I will set smaller, more specific goals for 2014, and they will get done.

Some of the most common goals people have for the new year are things like losing weight, exercising more, eating better, and being smarter with money. I agree that they first one is pretty important in todays world, where it seems that the norm is that we are becoming a larger society. I myself could stand to lose a few, although I have lost 20 lbs this year, and slimmed down 3 notches on my belt already. The important thing is that I am happy with myself right now and I at least want to maintain my current state. The second goal, exercising more, is not one of my goals this year per se. I try to exercise at least 4 times a week already, sometimes more, so I don’t think I need to do more. What I do want to accomplish this coming year is more focused exercise. I road my bike over 1600 miles this year, and in 2014, I want to break 2000 miles. I don’t think that will be a problem since I have really started riding a lot more since I got my new bike back in May. I am starting the year off right tomorrow with a 61 mile ride to get the count rolling on day 1. Other exercise goals for the new year include doing my first triathlon, which I have already signed up for and is in April. I also hope to start running more and maybe do a 10K, or at least improve my 5K time. I would also like to try kickboxing. I think it will be tough since my upper body is weaker than my legs, but I need to work that part to make it stronger. I did my first kettlebells class last night and that was a start. I also do yoga and spin class at least twice a week. I think I have the exercise part of my resolution covered.

Eating better is a tough one for me. My family is very busy and we love fast food. We also love to cook, but the fast food wins when time is a factor. What we need to do is better food planning. Thinking ahead and planning meals better will help us be a better healthier family. That’s the plan anyways.

The last of the common goals I think people have is to be smarter with their money. I believe my family can do better in some areas, but I also think we do better than average in a lot of areas, so I’m not too worried about it this year, as long as we don’t go crazy with the spending.

Other than the common goals, I have made specific commitments in my heart that I plan to keep this coming year. They are for me, and me alone, but I assure you, they are real and they will make me a better person for myself and my family. My hope is to become a better person, to my family, friends, co-workers, and society. I truly feel that 2014 will be the best year to date, and I think that even though my goals may be smaller and more specific, I will have much more success in achieving them than in the past.

My very last goal for this coming year is to write more. You can see that I started early, but this is a simple goal that I can do. I am not promising that my book will be done this year, nor am I promising that this blog will have a new entry every 3 days, but I will write more, and I hope that in doing so, I will learn more about myself, helping me in my quest to be a better person.

It’s 10:20PM here on the east coast and 2014 is just around the corner. I hope everyone has a great year and I hope my goals will inspire you to set small goals that are sure to get met. Happy New Year everyone.

Simon A.


When we arrived on Friday, the skies were pretty normal.  There were supposed to be a few days of rain while we were visiting the area, as well as a few days below freezing, but those days were not supposed to cross each other.  Friday was chilly, but not freezing.  Saturday was mild and dry, and Sunday it rained all day, but it was warm.  Monday it started getting cold, but the rain was almost gone by then.  Then today came, Christmas Eve.  The forcast was cold and dry, but Mother Nature had other plans.  We woke up to snow covered cars and a dusting on the ground.  Good News for a White Christmas.  Not only was there snow on the ground, but it was still snowing.  My family and I went out to the shops, and even in the blistering cold wind, but snow falling made it worth the agony of chattering teeth and runny noses.

We drove to the top of the mountain where the ski resort is and it was really snowing up there.  They also had the snow-making machines running, so it looked like a blizzard.  None of us were really dressed for the chill that we were faced with, but we purchased chair lift tickets anyways and rode to the top of the ski trails.  It was set up for sightseers on foot and since we were freezing and the hot chocolate line wasn’t moving fast enough, we didn’t stay at the top long.  The view was great as far as the snow covered trees and all, but it was snowing so hard and we were in the clouds, so we couldn’t see very far off.  I sent my parents a picture of the snow.  They were still at the bottom of the mountain in town and said it was snowing, but not like at the top.

The rest of today was pretty good.  We had our Christmas dinner with the family, and attended a Christmas Eve church service.  The snow tapered off this afternoon and all that is left now is a little dusting on the bushes, and what is left on the cars that didn’t get driven today.  I hope tomorrow morning comes with some snow left.  I doubt what is out there now is going anyways, because the temperature is still in the 20’s and it’s after 11pm.  I love having a white Christmas, even if it is just a dusting.  I would rather the roads stay clear anyways, since we are traveling back home to the East tomorrow, and my parents are driving west to theirs.

It was a great early White Christmas today and I am so glad to be here together with my family.

Sleep tight tonight and Merry Christmas.

Simon A.

It’s hard to believe how fast time goes by sometimes.  It’s funny that when you don’t like something you are doing, like a final exam or waiting at the doctor’s office, time seems to slow down.  On the flip side, when you are doing something fun and exciting, like ziplining through the hills of Gatlinburg on a cool December day, times goes by in a blink.  I guess that is because when you are thinking about the time, it crawls, and when you are carefree and enjoying the moment, time skates ahead at light speed.

My family enjoys my humor on occasion and yesterday was one of those times.  I made a comment to my Mother about not having taken a nap in the past 20 years and I wasn’t about to start now.  This struck the funny bone of most everyone in attendance and since last night, the words “I ain’t done that in 20 years, and I ain’t gonna start now!!” have come up a few times.  This got me thinking about all the things that have happened in my life in the past 20 years, and some things that I haven’t done again in the past 20 years.  It’s amazing how things change around you and sometimes you don’t even notice it until years have gone by.

In the past 2 decades, a lot has happened in my life, not surprisingly.  Twenty years ago, I was a freshman in high school.  I was a soccer player who could run all day long and still breathe easy.  Today, not so much.  I was also on the track team, jumping over hurdles as I circled the track.  It was almost time for me to get my license, so that was always on my mind.  Life was great.

Since those early days, life has had its up and downs.  There has been multiple surgeries, yes, but there has also been zero surgeries in the past 13 years, which is a blessing.  I have moved multiple times, been to a few different colleges, earned 1 degree, and almost another one.  Working on my first 4 year degree now.  I have been laid off twice, have broken 2 bones, and discovered that I love to cook as well as write.  I used to love cats and never wanted a dog.  Now I have a cat and have had multiple dogs, currently have 2 big dogs, and love them to death.

I have been married for 7 years, have an amazing wife and step-daughter, 14 nieces and nephews, and a big loving family.  I am so happy where this life has taken me and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes next.  Sure, I flew a helicopter when I was 15 years old, and I haven’t done it again since, but that’s ok.  How many people can say they have done it at all, ever?  Thanks Mom and Dad for that opportunity.  Now that I am back in school, I am learning that all the math I used to love in high school is now super hard after a 15 year break without using it.  It’ll come back with time, I hope.  I haven’t been to the town where I grew up in a very long time.  I need to take a trip up north to Massena, NY to see it once again, but I will wait till a summer day when the temperature is most likely above freezing.  Ha Ha.

This list could go on and on forever, but the important thing is that I am happy where I am at now.  All the ups and downs, good and bad times, and everything in between are the things that got me to where I am and I am thankful for that.

Til next time, hopefully not 20 years from now,


As of today, I’m rolling over into my 35th year of my life, and it just keeps getting better.  I have all that I need in life, although there are plenty of things on my to-do list for the future.  I have a loving family, a nice home, a job I enjoy, a working vehicle, 2 dogs, and a cat.  What else do I need?  It seems like the past 35 years have gone by in a blink, now that i am here, but the journey to get here is what makes it all worth it and I am glad that each moment took its own time.

Just this past year alone, there have been plenty of milestones that I never thought possible.  I have been married for 7 years now, the best 7 years of my life.  I love to ride my bicycle, and this year, I rode almost 2000 miles.  I even rode my first Century this past summer.  I never dreamed that would happen.  I’m also back in college now.  I actually started last year, but now I am really into it deep.  Getting ready to start my 4th semester  in January.  I never thought I would be going for my BS in Computer Science, but here I am doing it.  There are so many things that are amazing right now and I feel so happy to have my wife and daughter to share it with.  We even went zip-lining for the first time yesterday.  That’s been on our bucket list for years, and yesterday, we decided it was time.

Next year, 2014 is going to be a fantastic year.  I hope to do my first triathlon, and maybe my second as well.  My wife and I really want to do a backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains in TN, so that’s on the list too.  We have also been looking to bike the outer banks, and go on a cruise.  One of my personal goals is to become a better runner so I can actually beat my wife in a 5K race.  So far, she has 3 metals to my goose egg.  I am so proud of her.

Today is my birthday and I am ready to start the next year of my life.  I will laugh, I will cry, I will smile, and I will frown, but by the end of the year, I will have stories to tell that no one else can tell.  Some stories may be happy and some sad, but they will all teach me to be a better person, and I hope you can learn from them too.  Share in my good times, and learn from my mistakes.

Until year 36, I’ll keep writing my stories from 35 years of life.


Simon A.