OK, so what about those big life changes that I vaguely alluded to in the introductory post?
The “Big D”:
My marriage has always been pretty challenging and difficult, as those who are at least sort of close to me know. And, after a long, long time, almost 27 years, it finally came to an official end in early 2018, although it had been functionally over for a while before that. Basically, after years of stubbornness and extreme loyalty, fear of change, and a heavy indulgence in the Sunk Cost Fallacy, I finally stopped fighting to stay married, and just let the chips fall where they may. And where that ended up was in a breakup, followed by a long, sort of awkward co-habitation, and finally separation and divorce.
We did manage, in the end, to pull off a fairly non-combative, amicable, DIY divorce, that kept costs and drama to a bare minimum.
If you’re friends with Shannon, you’ve known about this since it happened, and probably even before, actually, because she has been much more public about it than I have been. I’m a pretty private person for the most part, and honestly, this wasn’t something I was super excited about. It felt like failure on a grand scale, and not something I really wanted to go around yakking about to just anyone. And I definitely have not been super excited to run around in 2019 announcing myself as “single”. Ugh. I haven’t been “single” since I was younger than my oldest kid is now. The elder George Bush was president, the first Iraq War hadn’t even happened yet, phones were still connected to the wall with wires, and Nirvana had just come out with “Bleach”… lol.
But, there you have it. From November up until mid-April, I was sleeping in a 10’ camper in my own driveway, and otherwise living in my shop, cooking and making coffee on a Coleman stove. Back in early spring, I was considering whether or not I was going to move, and if so, to where. I looked at places all around NE Washington state, a little bit in Idaho, and even looked around a bit in Wisconsin and Minnesota. But I ended up keeping the Skamokawa place in the divorce, so now I’m staying there, at least for a while, anyway. It’s nice to live indoors again…
Whew… There are only a handful of people who I have talked to about this, up until now.
Columbia River Kayaking:
Another project and set of relationships and partnerships that finally came to an overdue end in the past 12 months was my involvement in Columbia River Kayaking. I had been doing that job since 2004, and was one of the founding partners of CRK, LLC in 2007, and the financial and operations manager, kayak guide and coach, etc etc for over ten years.
Again, heavy on the Sunk Cost Fallacy, and heavy on stubbornness, loyalty and fear of change. My exit there was also overdue, and unfortunately, not all of my personal relationships there survived the transition intact. Live and learn, I guess.
I still like to paddle, although I’ve spent more time in canoes recently than in kayaks. I’m also still available for paddlesports coaching and instruction, and I just started the process of bringing all my certifications with British Canoeing up to date, and I also finally joined the ACA as well. After a year or two of not being sure what to do with my paddlesports career, I ended up deciding that I just had way too much time, energy and money invested in that skill set and career path to just let it go completely, over a partnership that didn’t work out.
But for the past two years, almost all of my income has been coming from teaching WMA courses, and very little to none from kayaking or managing a kayaking business. It’s been slightly terrifying, making that leap of faith and stepping away from the kayaking income, even though the kayaking income in recent years was pretty small. But making slightly terrifying changes has been a theme lately…
In the past year, I’ve lost about 30 pounds. Looking to shed another 10-15 or so, too. My weight finally snuck up on me last summer, and it looked like I might have to buy some new pants, and that’s what finally did it. No way was I going to give up and be a 38” waist kind of guy… So, I started on the intermittent fasting thing last August, and lo and behold, the pounds started slipping away. For a while I kind of plateau’ed out at 20 pounds down, and then had to step up the walking and exercise a bit, and even more tightly manage the food thing as well, and I slowly dropped another 10 pounds after that.
To the point now, where I am thinking I might have to buy some new pants, because the ones I already own keep falling off if I don’t have my belt pretty tight… lol.
I went through a massive line of credit shuffle, paying everything down to almost nothing, and then bought a “new” truck, and have also now been fixing up my crappy 42 year old doublewide into a somewhat less crappy old doublewide that I can stand to live in for a while. It’s been in desperate need of either tearing down or remodeling for a long time, so I’ve spent pretty much every spare minute since April that I have not been working, painting walls, fixing floors, replacing all the kitchen cabinets and the island, replacing the wood stove and I’ve also gutted the front bathroom all the way down to rotten studs, replaced a bunch of framing, and when I get it back together it will have a new sink, toilet and shower.
The barn is finally going to be getting electricity and eventually a concrete floor, too. The shop, however… Ugh. That’s still a mess, but at least it’s not currently being destroyed by rats.
And, there it is. Big, crazy, paradigm shifting changes, that I have mostly been keeping pretty damn quiet about, but at this point, a lot of people already know about these things, and in the spirit of the blog and life reboot, I’ll see how it goes sticking this kind of personal stuff out there in this format. Not my usual thing, but then again, neither is any of this stuff, and here I am anyway… lol.