Author: gregkroleski

Yearly Focus

Exemplar Review Template

My goal in designating yearly exemplars is to be able to learn from other successful individuals. In studying their lives, I hope to be able to identify; thought patterns that shaped their worldview, motivations that drove them, behaviors that helped them succeed, and decisions that proved favorable. I then hope to benefit from that knowledge by applying it to my own life; letting the thoughts hone my own worldview, using their motivations to adjust or magnify mine, experimenting with the behaviors, and creating heuristics based on the patterns of decisions they made. After a few years of doing this with mild results, I felt like I would benefit from a bit more structure. I want the practice of having an exemplar to be more than reading a biography every year. I want it to involve some reflection and some action. Below is my first pass at a template for an exemplar

Yearly Focus

Sabbath Year Review

Last year our family took a year off from normal life. I took a leave from my job, we put our stuff in storage, we moved to a new city and everything about our life became very different. Now that we’ve reentered normal life, we’ve been asked, and asked ourselves, ‘Was it worth it?’ With perspective from a few months back at normal pace, but with the time still fresh in my mind, I want to take an opportunity to reflect on than question. In general, I believe my answer is yes, but not for the reasons I had suspected. Reflecting on The Stated Goals Before we dove into the year, I was intentional about doing some thinking and setting a light structure for the year. I had defined seven things I wanted the year to consist of: a sabbath to the Lord, rest, enjoying this chapter, pausing things, living without,

Yearly Focus

2018 Focus: Three Quarters Year Update

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals. I detailed my 2018 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing. 2018 Theme: First Principles Lifestyle Another quarter of big decisions. After deciding where we wanted to live long-term earlier this year, I spent Q3 searching for my next job and evaluating a lot of very different options. In the end, a very tough decision came down to a number of first principles about what was most important to me. I will detail that decision more sometime soon. 2018 Challenge: Profile 12 Families (w/ Kids) Living Intentionally Different I kicked off my first two interviews

Product Reviews

Product Review: Groove Life Silicone Wedding Rings

Todays post is a product review. I periodically provide unbiased product reviews for companies that ask for my feedback. As someone that builds products for a living, I find this really interesting and it also serves the benefit of helping my readers find good products and manufacturers improve what they have created. Today I’ll be taking a look at Groove Life silicone rings. An alternative to metal wedding bands that works well for active individuals. There are a number of companies that make these, but this particular brand has a few unique features that make it stand out. For some background, I am pretty a pretty active & outdoorsy individual: surfer, bike commuter, marathoner, backpacker, certified stand up paddle instructor, Ironman, & rock climber. I never wore any jewelry or a watch before getting married, and so since tying the knot, wearing a ring has been troublesome for me. In my first years of

Yearly Focus

2018 Focus: Half Year Update

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals. I detailed my 2018 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing. 2018 Theme: First Principles Lifestyle Similar to my update from last quarter – I feel like this theme remains very relevant to our effort for the year, even if I haven’t made much progress on the specific named items below. Having decided on where to live, and now evaluating how we want our family to earn an income, has brought us back again and again to first principles. 2018 Challenge: Profile 12 Families (w/ Kids) Living Intentionally Different No progress. I feel bad

Yearly Focus

Sabbath Year – After Twelve Months – Immediate Thoughts After Concluding

I suppose the contrast between the last day of the sabbath year and the first day of the next year doesn’t have to be so stark. In this case it was. I found myself solo-parenting four children in a house I had moved into less than one week before. Most of our things were still in boxes and the upstairs bedrooms were hot and bright as daylight lasts until 10pm in Seattle during the summer. So we pitched tents in the basement and had a campout. Between settling into a new house, working and parenting, there isn’t much room for anything else these days. This might be the new normal. In retrospect, we should probably mark the start and end of sabbath years with a big celebration of sorts. A feast or bonfire maybe. I’ll write that idea down for next time. I will do some deeper reflecting soon, but

Physical Challenges

Race Report: Dipsea 2018

On June 10, 2018 I ran the 108th running of the legendary Dipsea race. I finished in a time of 1:08:26 – good enough to requalify for next year. Goals Finish/Survive – ACCOMPLISHED Requalify for 2019- 450 spots – ACCOMPLISHED – with 117 to spare Average heart rate 170+ – ACCOMPLISHED – averaged 175 BPM Sub 1:02:04 (My course best) – Not Accomplished Average heart rate 180+ – Not Accomplished Do not walk or speed hike – Not Accomplished Top 100 – Not Accomplished Sub 1 hour – Not Accomplished Black Shirt – Not Accomplished Successes What am I proud of from race day? Both Chris and I requalified and live to race another year Great effort & performance on minimal training Managed to stay upright the whole time & avoid rolling my ankle Discovered a new shortcut that will save me some time (this is legal in this race) Brought a frozen water bottle to drip on

Yearly Focus

Sabbath Year – After Eleven Months – Preparing for Reentry

With one month until our sabbath year is officially completed, we’ve begun the process of reentering normal life. I wrote this a year ago as I planned our year: “We don’t have much clarity as to what our days will look like in this period because we aren’t certain where we will be living, what the details of my work will be, or what we will be preparing for. We do know that around five months into each new child’s life is usually the time we start to feel like we arrive at a new normal – so this should be a great time to get the engine started up again.” Sitting here now, we have more clarity about what our days look like and what we are preparing for. It is also true that with our youngest at five months old now, we’ve gotten out of newborn fire drill

Poetry

Resting On Open Hands

What do I have that I can claim is mine? What do I have that You have not first given me? What by my own effort can I maintain? What power do I have to keep even a single breath in my lungs? What power do I have to guarantee even my own life for one moment more? Do I pretend to know the moment of my death? How much more am I powerless to try and guarantee even more? Therefore, let me do away with false pretenses. Let me cast aside the notion that by holding on with tight fist, I can add even a moment more to the span of time these gifts are in my presence. Let me live consistently with the truth of my own powerlessness. Let me live with these gifts sitting on my open hand. Let me be thankful for the time they are

Yearly Focus

Sabbath Year – After Ten Months – Killing Inertia

Our lives are often driven by inertia – the force that keeps something moving in the same direction it has been. Sometimes this is for better, but often it is for the worst. This force makes it hard for us to change directions, even if our underlying values or priorities change and the direction our life is heading no longer makes a lot of sense. I’ve found that taking a sabbatical has been a huge inertia killer. In the best ways. Sometimes also in the hardest ways. The Effort To Change Change always requires work. There are times we keep heading in the same direction not because that is right, but because the effort required to do something different seems overwhelming. If the work required to change course is more than the work required to keep going the same direction, that makes a bit of sense. For a lot of