Friday, May 31, 2013

Growing up doesn't happen every day.

Growing up can't happen every day, and unfortunately, neither can a blog about it.

If you're really working on getting your life moving in the right direction, you have to spend a lot of time and energy focusing on that, and limit the time you spend on hobbies.  To that end, Growing Up After 30 will be moving to a weekly release.  Starting June 3rd, you should see a new blog every Monday, so keep checking back.

For those of you who don't want to miss a post, there are some handy subscription options on the right side of the page.  You can follow me on Google+, subscribe using several popular online news aggregaters, or just subscribe to be notified by email when a new post lands.

I may occasionally let a nugget of wisdom slip out in between, but a steady release schedule should work well for all.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Please don't thank a soldier today.

Since today is Memorial Day, I want to take a small break from my usual format, to make sure we understand what this holiday is really about.

People often get confused between Veterans' Day and Memorial Day.  These are not the same holiday.

On Verterans' Day, we should take the time to stop and thank people we know in the Armed Forces, particularly veterans who have come home.  Regardless of your political affiliations, The Armed Forces of the United States serve to protect this country.  Sometimes their leaders may use them for actions that you or I think are not in the best interest of this country, but that's a debate for another time and place.  The simple fact is that they are there to keep us safe, and protect our way of life from other nations that would see it end.  When Veterans' day rolls around, thank a soldier.  Thank a veteran.  Shake someone's hand.

Today, however, is Memorial Day.  Today is not for veterans.  Today is for the men and women who didn't make it home, and never got to experience a Veterans' Day as a veteran.  Every day, all around the world, there are men and women in the United States Armed Forces who risk their very lives to defend their country, and on Memorial Day, we step back from our jobs, our daily grind that they protect, and we give our heartfelt thanks to the ones who's hands we can never shake.  Our thanks to the men and women who died in the service of the country they loved.

So today, enjoy your life of freedom.  Have a barbecue, go to the beach, and enjoy this beautiful country that we call home.  While you're at it, just remember that the reason we celebrate this day, is in the memory of our fallen soldiers.  If you're a person of any faith, say a prayer for their souls.  Pay a rosary on their behalf.  Today is also a day to visit the resting places of those we can, and to tell their stories to those who will listen. Tell the story of your great uncle's plane crash in the Air Force, of the day your brother left for boot camp.

Don't thank a soldier today.  Say a prayer, tell a story, and do something to enjoy the freedom their brothers in arms died to protect.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How to get better mileage and more performance.

A strange thing started happening on my commute to work this week.

Without so much as lifting the hood, my little red corolla was suddenly getting better gas mileage.  It even seemed to have better performance.  I was passing Porches and careening past Cadillacs.

The secret is actually pretty simple.

I wasn't towing a car loan anymore.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Talking to Professionals

When I first decided I wanted to move to an IT career, one of the things I did was to talk to IT professionals that I know in my area about my ideas, and whether or not I was heading in the right direction.  I think this is a great way to go, and can really help you to figure out the most reasonable path to reaching your career goals.

Pretty quickly, I figured out that around here, lot's of experience working around/with/on computers in non-IT jobs, combined with a few useful certifications, was a reasonable place to start.  It won't get you into a network engineer or IT manager position, but it will get your foot in the door with an entry level position.

I think that regardless of what you're trying to accomplish in your life, talking to people who are farther down the road than you can be helpful.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Make a plan, and make it loose.

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, "In preparing for battle i have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

I've mentioned plans quite a bit lately.  My own plans, what makes a reasonable plan, and so on.  Today, I'd like to dig a little deeper into that subject.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's okay to admit that you're not satisfied.

A couple of days after I started this blog, something completely unexpected happened. I'd just asked my wife to review a draft of a post, which I could tell she actually liked because she was still laughing when I left the room.  After I asked a few questions, and wheedled some more feedback out of her, she looked at me with her Serious Face™.  (if you're married, you know the one I'm talking about)  She looked at me, and she asked very quietly, "are you really that unhappy with your life?"

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fat will be trimmed, again.

So, I used to be really fat.

5'5" and 283 pounds.  (That's 165cm and 128kg for anyone living in any country in the world except this one)  Like a lot of less than wonderful things in our lives, it snuck up on me slowly.  I didn't wake up one morning, and suddenly find that I was enormous.  It took years.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Maybe read a book once in a while.

I have a filthy horrible secret....

I enjoy reading self-help books.

Really, I feel better now.

In all seriousness, there are some great self-help books out there.  Even the not-so great ones can give you interesting perspective if you can stand to wade through the psychobabble.  The late John Wooden is remembered in small part for saying that, "Five years from now, you're the same person except for the people you've met and the books you've read."

Friday, May 17, 2013

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I think we've probably all heard the old joke that goes - Why are people always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up?

They're looking for ideas.

The very fact that we can laugh at, and relate to, such a joke tells me there are a lot of us who should have grown up a long time ago; who are still looking for what we want to be when we Grow Up™.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A little success makes everything else suck.

Stop and think about the last time you had a win that was centered on one specific area of your life.  Maybe you got a promotion at work.  Maybe you met a new girlfriend.  Maybe you lost 5 pounds.

Yay for you.

Did that make it easier, or harder, to tolerate the stuff that was still in your lose column?  Sure, it made it all easier, for about a day.  But if you're anything like me, it probably made it all a lot harder after a little while if your win turned out to be a Real Win™ and not just a nice moment that gained you nothing in the long run.

A few definitions.

I suppose it's only fair that I lay out a few definitions here for my readers (still theoretical at this point).  I'm sure anyone who reads my blog will know exactly where I'm coming from and never take unintended offense, but just to be sure I deserve any hate mail I receive, let's lay out some terms I like to use, and what I really mean by them.  Rest assured that I'll update this entry from time to time, and link back to it when I come up with any fantastic new terminology.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Growing up after 30

Given that this is my first entry in this lovely new blog, chances are good that if you're reading this, you're my wife.  Maybe my brother.  It could even be that you're my mother in law.  (shame on you for snooping)  None the less, come on in.  Pull up a chair, kick off your shoes, and watch the show.

Since I'm over 30, preparing to build a family, still living in an apartment, and just recently getting off my butt to get myself into a real job™, I thought, "Growing up after 30," was an appropriate name.  We'll see....

Before we begin, let's figure out where we've been, shall we?