State of the Stephen – 2015

Hello, blog! Long time, no see.

I have no idea what to write or what to say or what to talk about in this blog post. It’s been a long time since I wrote anything and I think it’s part of my failing relationship with the written word. This year has been a lot different than past ones, mainly because I became a dad and I have a beautiful baby boy taking up a lot of the time I used to have. There’s also a lot of evolutionary stuff I’ve gone through that just won’t ever leave my brain, let alone be talked about in a blog. Maybe one day, but today is not that day. I guess we can start with the recent stuff and highlights.

My incredible wife and I had a baby, and it’s been easily the most challenging thing I have ever had to face in my life. I’m super happy, and I would never take it back, but it’s been a tough run for sure. He started out pretty sick and had a hard time with a lot of digestive stuff early on, but he’s totally leveling out now. He’s sleeping better at night, but still waking up super early. He’s eating food well and playing with stuff. It’s really cool to watch him grow and do stuff. I can’t wait til I can take him places and go on adventures. It kind of allows me to be a kid myself and engage in all the things I actually really want to do again. We’re going to have so much fun, but I have to get him through bottles and diapers first.

I moved on to a new job this year as well. Back in July I took a job with Duke Cancer Institute. It’s been pretty good. ….Well that’s enough of that.

Podcasting has fallen severely on the back burner this year. Primarily due to having a baby and just not having the time that I used to have. If anything has been the hardest this year, it’s been missing out on that huge aspect of my life. Podcasting and entertaining on the internet is just built into my DNA. The best analogy I have for how that feels is related to the game Grim Fandango. There’s a dude named Glottis who is a speed demon. His entire purpose for existing is to go fast, but the powers that be took his license away so he can’t drive. He works on cars and soups them up in order to fulfill his destiny, but it doesn’t quite do it for him. It’s just enough to keep him alive. You see, speed demons will die if they don’t have go fast after a certain period of time. Once unleashed by the game’s protagonist, he can be his full self and is happier than he’s ever been. Podcasting is that for me.

Podcasting is what I’m good at. It’s what I do. I’ve been working on stuff in the background in order to get past the issues I have with not being able to do it with any regularity. I’m working with Ashley and Jacob to build a network of stuff that we want to produce. We’ve got a few things that we’re working on but not much has actually come to fruition. I’ve been doing a solo show called “The Stephen Show” that I’m actually really enjoying, but I don’t do that as often as I should either. It’s really a blog of sorts, so if you want some real me, you can listen to that and get filled in on some of the stuff I haven’t put on the blog. I really want to get back to Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, but at this point, I just can’t put a date on it. Having babies kind of puts things on the back burner for everything but going to work and coming home. That’s the tough part.

I’m going to go out on this year saying it was awesome though. I have never had more happy moments or sad moments in a single year than I’ve had this year. It’s been an absolute emotional roller coaster, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I watched a TED talk a while back that was a study on happiness. They determined that people without kids have a fairly consistent happiness level and it tends to level out somewhere in their 20s. On the contrary, people WITH kids have a constantly fluctuating happiness level. The big difference here is that the fluctuations in happiness for people with kids show that they have greater moments of happiness, but deeper levels of sadness as well. Personally, I’ll take those mountains of happiness and valleys of sad over a lifetime of ‘meh’ happiness.

All in all, some good decisions and some bad decisions were made this year. A lot of challenges were faced, and some were overcome. If there is anything I need to learn and work on in the coming year is that maybe sometimes I don’t need the rest and chill time I think I need. Maybe I’d be happier if I just busted my butt more. I need more sleep. I need to take care of myself better. If I take better care of myself, I can take better care of my family. That’s really what matters. I need to learn to overcome the fears that hold me back, of which there are MANY of them. Sometimes I just can’t do the safe thing because there’s no guarantee anything will necessarily work out better for me.

Goal for 2016: Conquer the fear. That should help everything else fall in to place. Let’s give it a try, shall we?

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