Five Things Friday – October 18, 2013

Headlamp Season1

Wait – exactly HOW did it manage to get to be Friday again so soon?!? It is hard to believe that we have already sailed past the middle of October! I keep trying – and failing – to do a Five Things Friday … so I will make this one as short as possible so it actually happens! My theme? Nothing in particular … and as for the image? It is getting to be headlamp season – not only is it getting darker, but people seem to be driving more stupidly and carelessly.

1. Wineglass Recovery Done, Red Baron Prep Started

At this point I feel I am droning on about how great I have felt so soon after Wineglass. This week was just another running week, putting in about 40 miles Monday – Friday and should end up over 50 miles a week before I had planned to be at full capacity!

As I mentioned earlier this week I got a reminder that I had signed up for the Red Baron Half Marathon the first weekend in November. So I am in the midst of starting a quick mileage ramp for that race … and will only have a quick taper before. Maybe this year it will be a bit warmer this year!

Sure I am still a little tight, and feel the calf a little going down stairs, but compared to any other half- or full-marathon aftermath, this is by far the best.

2. Lisa’s Ankle Keeps Getting Better – but it will be a long haul

Look – there are no two ways about it: Lisa getting hurt really sucks, and she is DONE. But at the same time, just over a week ago she was chained to the couch, but now she is up and about and back to work and making cookies for marching band.

The upside of recovery is recovery – getting better. The downside? Waiting around for everything else to catch up with you and allow you to move forward. Lisa just started physical therapy, and he confirmed that this would be a very long haul.

I really just wish I could make it go away.

3. Mostly, I Just Want to Give My Boys a Hug

Lisa said it best – why is it that one minute I want to throttle you and the next I want to smother you with hugs?

We have two incredible kids – amazingly smart, funny, polite, giving and caring, with talends in music and drama and film and all sorts of other areas. So it is frustrating when they don’t make the most of their potential or maximize their chances of success – because all we want is for them to be happy wherever life takes them.

On the other hand it is great to walk into the school for parent’s night and have a teacher tell you how thrilled they were to have ‘another Anderson boy’, and to hear the areas where they are doing amazingly well.

4. Finding and Pursuing Your Passion in Life Is Never a Bad Thing, But Make Sure You Know Your Skills

If there is one thing we all should have learned over the recession that has not really ended in the last 6 years, it is that there is no such thing as a ‘safe job’. During my lifetime we have seen entire industries die off, categories of work made obsolete, and skill sets that were once essential are now laughably arcane.

So what to do? Find what you love and make it your career. It doesn’t always work and sometimes you need to work with your skills rather than your passions, but it is better to live with having to take a ‘second choice’ gig rather than the regret of never trying.

I remember being in high school and having passions for writing and music, but looking at life and wanting something that would provide a secure income – and that is where my talents for math and science came into play.

When people ask how I ended up in statistics when I started in electrical engineering … it is simple: I was dissatisfied with the robustness of what people were doing in terms of design and test at my first job (Bruker), and started right away with systems of data collection and analysis. That landed me quickly on a joint paper with a researcher at UPenn … and especially once I hit Shipley I had mentors that encouraged me to take that discipline and cultivate it into a bona-fide skill set through all of the available education and training.

I am still a lover of software, instrumentation and metrology … so my greatest projects have always been where advanced metrology meets advanced statistical analysis.

So while the passions of my youth remain hobbies today – and I have a newer passion for health and fitness – I am very fortunate that my job allows me to do stuff I enjoy and do well. I hope that my boys can find a way to leverage their passions in their lives.

5. My Marriage is the key and foundation of my life

This morning – like any morning on a day when Lisa either is off or has to work late – I struggle about whether or not to wake her to have a cup of coffee. I love sitting down and enjoying a relaxing cup with her, but want to let her rest – especially while healing. And I know I talk about it all the time, but she really is the center of my universe and a great source of everything good in my life.

Good day? Tell Lisa. Bad day? Tell Lisa. Heard a joke? Tell Lisa. Stressed? Tell Lisa. Joke? Tell Lisa. And so on. I know that I talk about this all the time, but it also seems that in the interactions I have at work or online I am constantly hearing about people who are together … and I have no idea why. People for whom watching the kids is ‘babysitting’, for whom ‘date night’ is an obligation rather than a joy.

Or maybe people who are convinced that they need to change the other person. Why? It is a recipe for disaster. Or testing them – did they notice this, remember that, or whatever. We are all busy, imperfect people – do we really need all of those games on top of it all?

So yeah, I do talk about how lucky I am to have married my best friend, and how much I enjoy spending even just an exhausted few minutes together like we did last night after both of us had exhausting days … and how I look forward to each time we are together.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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