2017 – A Recap

Okay, so 2017 was an interesting year. It’s been full of good and bad things, as every year is. Perhaps a few more bad than good things this go around. But so it goes. I figured though I’d do a quick recap of what has happened so that anyone (probably just about everyone) who has been out of the loop can catch up. Since I’m soo good at communicating and all.


The one, most important, and the happiest thing I can lead off with this year is that I got engaged to my wonderful partner, Erica. I should tell the story later (I took a ton of photos) of how it all went down. But for now, I’m just happy to be moving forward in that phase of our relationship. Wedding planning is enjoyable but has taken a back seat for me to other things going on in life.


This year has been very frustrating. I started the year trying to get a remote gig that fit my skill set with a number of good people. However, by mid-year, I found out I was left out in the cold (for good reason – at least for the ones I got to talk to about it). This was disappointing but I pushed on and got some freelance gigs to try and pay the bills. These have not all been as fruitful as I’d like but they have helped. I also started working for Instacart and later Shipt to do grocery shopping and delivery. Those are fun but Instacart makes working for them difficult and I got into Shipt after I started my 3rd thing and just haven’t had time.

This 3rd thing has been good in a lot of ways. I have been working for ABC Fine Wines & Spirits here on the Beach. It is an interesting job and you get to learn so much about what is out and available, in the beer, spirit, and wine world. Also, I’ve made some good friends with my co-workers. It is however not lucrative. In fact, Panama City Beach, on the whole, doesn’t pay well. Which happens, but it makes things difficult. Like gearing up for a wedding. But I have enjoyed my time there, even if it’s beaten the crap out of my body.

Finally, I have continued work on Morning Chalk Up. We had a good year releasing our Ambassadors program, adding a new partner, and generally great growth. It has of course taken up a ton of time but I’m proud of what we have accomplished this year.

So what is the tl;dr version of this? I’ve worked like 80-100 hours a week the 2nd half of the year and made very little money. As a matter of fact, while I’ve made sure that we’ve paid all the bills, it’s been a fight every single day. But that helps my drive and determination. So there is good that come out of it.


This year has been … good for me. Aside from some difficulty getting insurance companies and medications I need coordinated correctly I’ve been in good health. The stress of working so much hasn’t gotten to me too much, and I’ve had no major life interruptions because of anything related to my health.

But I can’t say that for my entire family. It’s been a tough last few months. First, my Aunt on my dad’s side got some cancerous tissue that needed radiation to treat. But fortunately that all went really well.

Second, my mom has been having leg/foot trouble for most of the year. She needed to get a toe amputated. During recovery, we found out she had plaque buildup in her aorta for about a foot around the area of her stomach. She has since gotten a bypass to connect the blood flow back to her legs. That has helped a lot but not having the blood flow during recovery from her toe caused a bunch of other issues she is now needing to recover from. And her blood pressure is elevated to concerning levels. She has now been in the hospital for about a month now. But things are looking better. I just know she, and the rest of the family would like her to be able to go home.

Finally, my dad, while all of this has been going on with my mother, needed to have a mass removed from his neck. The good news is that they tested it before removing it and it was not cancerous. Just big. The bad news is they were wrong. It tested as some kind of Carcinoma and we are still waiting on the results of the PET scan from a week ago. So we’ll see what needs to be done there. But I got the impression it’ll all be okay.

What I’ve learned is I much prefer to be the sick one. It is frustrating when your family is sick and there’s nothing you can do. At least when it’s me I can just sort of push through the pain and hardships it brings and that brings a sense of relief.


It hasn’t been a huge travel year for us (though it’ll probably not sound like that here). Erica and I managed to travel to Thailand and Norway this year. Both were amazing locations and we are super happy to have gone.

Thailand was for Erica’s birthday. The big thing was an elephant park/preserve where we got to spend all day being with these wonderful, sweet, and sometimes very pushy to eat a banana, animals. However, one drawback is that Thailand is like the hottest country in the world (or at least Bangkok is the hottest city) and we happened to be there during the hottest days in recorded history. So … ya to that. We, in fact, were almost roasted alive. Which is an experience?

Norway was not boilingly hot. But it wasn’t fridged either. The one major note there is we got to see a really good night for the Northern Lights. I got a ton of pictures that I need to work through and post. It was fantastic.

My other trips included a couple of drives up to Louisville (one where I drove up and back in 48 hours – that wasn’t fun). A trip to California for a CrossFit games Regional. And a trip[ up to Madison, WI for the games (where I also got to see some wonderful Scaryland folks too).

Oh, and I almost forgot, we had a number of trips over to Disney World because Florida Resident Anual Passes.


Overall it wasn’t a bad year. But It was nowhere near as good as I hoped. I’m sure the past few months haven’t helped, but not being in the right place career and freedom wise also makes it more frustrating. But I’m getting married to the most wonderful person and I have my health. And I know my parents will too soon.


Just a quick look ahead. So I am actually leaving ABC this Thursday. Not out of anything other than a need to focus more on myself and family, as well as give me more time for freelancing and Chalk Up related things. I think I can do more with those 40 hours back and still start to give myself a life I haven’t had. Obviously, a wedding is coming up and I hope some more travel and chance to see people and things everywhere. And I’ll add in a renewed focus on my health. Between the wedding, my parents, and just my weight in general, I need to get healthier. And hopefully, I’ll do a better job of talking and communicating with people. But no promises there.

But we’ll see what the year brings. My life is nothing if not unpredictable.

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