Reflections at 40

Wow, 40… That was fast. Here are some reflections.

Things I did right:

  1. Lisa Wojcik – Very different than me, I would suggest incompatible in many ways, my wife and friend, I love you. 16 years and counting (18 if you believe my 2012 campaign flyer…)
  2. Anastasia & Natalia – Anastasia is my driven young leader, passionate about everything. Natalia is already one of the kindest people I have ever met.
  3. Jaida – My Paws & Claws Mutt is now 14 ½. Still a wonderful friend. Still cannot be trusted, especially around food.
  4. Community Service – The pay, working conditions, and hours all suck. So glad I am doing it. I work 50 hours a week to attack problems that often don’t affect me or my family. I am seeing a city change in a way that is more inclusive and equitable. Big challenges like housing, transit, safe streets, and sustainability. Every day is hard, every year is easy.
  5. Starting my own business – It took a while, but 9 years in I have a successful business, meaningful work, and a boss that I love.
    Wonderful friends – So many of you have helped me in my daily life and in my public life. I would never have won an election or stayed in Rochester without so many of you. What surprises many people is how many friends I have both left-of-center and right-of-center. I learned I can get along with almost anyone who will but the needs of the community first.
  6. Volunteering in the schools – Just taking 1 day per week and going into the schools better connects me with my kids and the needs of youth in the community. When a Kindergartener told me that she was having a hard time learning because she didn’t have any food in her tummy, it reinforced what I am doing in the community.
  7. Hosting an exchange student – A fantastic opportunity to personally learn about a culture, but also have my girls learn. We loved hosting you for a year, Josefina, and hope to see you soon.

Things I did wrong:

  1. Too much time in jobs I didn’t like. 7 years in technology hoping for the job to get better. It never did. I did myself a disservice, and those I was working with.
  2. Chose a home not a neighborhood – Dual Income / No kids – we built a fabulous home, but without thinking about the neighborhood. My values would now have me choose a neighborhood first, and then a home. We are fortunate to be where we are, but neighborhoods have diverse peoples, businesses, and special places.
  3. Not enough time for friends – This is hard. Some weeks I work 80+ hours between my business and city work (along with some occasional teaching gigs). Too often I lose touch with some of the finest people I have known. Then too quickly they move, become distant, or pass away. I wish I could be a better friend.
  4. Glacier National Park – That’s right. Don’t get me wrong Glacier is amazing, but I am an addict. Because I have always been so in love with Glacier I missed opportunities to go new places. Visit all the National Parks but save Glacier for last…

Some goals for my 40s:

  1. Live a life that is interesting.
  2. Frequent trips with the entire family or friends or wife or kids or solo.
  3. Run for a different office. Which one? I dunno, but local since that is the highest level of government.
  4. Earn a PhD. In what? I dunno, but there will be lots of numbers.
  5. Visit more interesting places. Visit the 3 states I have not yet visited. Set foot in 25 or so new countries. Do more hiking, biking, and exploring. Go to places like Katmandu, Timbuktu, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Torres del Paine, Milford Sound, and on.
  6. Safe connections for children in my community – I have never forgotten the young girl who died because our community didn’t provide safe connections. I will continue to change this.
  7. Develop Social Skills? Nah…

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