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Lee Brandt's Blog You're only as smart as your last line of code

Here it is. It's 3:30am and I am thinking about my life. Grand schemes for my life that are belied by the half-empty Diet Dr. Pepper and a reheated bowl of vegetable fried rice in front of me. I want to travel. I want to experience the awe of standing at the foot of The Great Pyramids. I want to walk through the floating city of Venice late in the afternoon. I want to see Switzerland and New Zealand and Iceland and Africa. I also want to have a family. My wife and I have been talking about kids for years. We've even tried off and on for the last two years. I want to get serious about it. I also want to get back in shape. I've always been a big guy, but now it's getting out of hand. I am about 150lbs overweight. Something must be done. I make great money as a programmer, but we've managed to spend ourselves into a place where we have too many payments for me to lose any of that pay. My wife will also graduate this27_West_Texas_Highway[1] year with a Master's in Elementary Education and is SO looking forward to becoming a teacher. How could I be so selfish as to uproot her now? This is NOT going to be easy. I'm almost forty. I had imagined so much more for my life by this age. What happened? Why hasn't my life turned out how I imagined? More importantly, how do I change my fortunes? How do I get myself moving in that direction?

I have to make it happen. I've spent the last 20-something years thinking that if I paid my dues and worked hard, that all those things would just happen naturally. It doesn't work that way. I have to make those things happen. I have to actively find a way to take those things that I want. Not in an "I take what I want because I'm a overbearing jerk" kind of way, but in a "God helps those who help themselves" kind of way. So here it is. The time has come and I'm going to do it. I've said it before and failed to follow through. I've made the promise to myself and let myself down before. This time I am here. I am at that place where I have simply decided to do it. Stop talking about it and do it.

Obviously, I can't just quit my job and move to Crete and start traveling. I am starting with this blog entry. I am starting with a plan.

Rights Managed1. Exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes (to start with). Exercise includes anything that gets my heart rate up to my target heart rate or brings a muscle group to muscle failure.

2. Stop eating crap. I was going to go with stop eating, full stop. Not realistic. This being a general plan, I know what a crappy diet looks like, and I know what a healthy diet looks like. I choose to start eating a healthy one. Period.

3. Get serious about starting a family. It sounds silly, but she's a full-time student and I'm a programmer with side work and developer community obligations. Finding time is not always easy.

4. Cut every possible cost, except where it might further the overall goal. Spend money on important things like paying off credit cards, making home improvements or buying tools to help with career/personal goals.

5. Speak more in the community. In fact, get more involved in the world community as a whole. I LOVE what I do. I want to meet and talk to others who love doing it too and share experiences with them. I want to learn voraciously and give back as much as I can.

That's it so far. I've made some of these promises before and never followed through. I've just got to do it. 6 years ago I decided to quit smoking after many years of promising myself I would quit. I just decided that I was going to do it and that was that. There was no other option. There is no third door. There is no other life. This is it. If you screw it up, you don't get to yell "DO-OVERS" on your death bed.

For the last few years, my life has been like driving through Texas; long straight and not much scenery along the way. Today I make a new trip. It may take me awhile, and some of the road may be rocky, but I am heading to California's Route 1. I am going to cruise the PCH all the way up.

Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2009 3:35 AM | Back to top

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