I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes me happy as a person.
When my wife and I decided that we'd visit Brazil this past summer, everything was geared for our trip. My already scanty free time (2 weeks at home after 4 weeks at work) was cut in half (I went to 5 weeks on/1 week off). In 2011 I've had 6 weeks off, including my 2 in Brazil. Essentially, I've had 28 days to spend with my family. Of that time, I've had maybe seven days to do what I like to do. Brazil was an exception there. Being a tourist is fun. Being a tourist tied to my wife's apron strings viz a viz the language barrier... not as much fun, but still fine.
2011 has been the year of no fun, despite the amazing vacation in Brazil. My weight ballooned from stress and lack of exercise. My patience is AWOL.
August was a bit of a watershed month for me. With a week's preparation, on August 1st, I finally started a program of healthy eating and exercise, which I continue daily. My weight is falling fast, as it should when one is obese and no longer eating everything in arms' reach. In addition, I vowed to not work extra more than twice in the next 12 months, so I'll be back to having more free time.
On my next payday I'm going to send a check to a marine architect and have him send me the plans for building a small rowing dory. I love building boats, and even with my limited time, it should be possible to cobble something together. I'm hoping to engage one of my brothers in the project, as I have a certain lack of facility in cutting smooth curves, and it would be nice not to spend 200 hours on sanding the waves out of my cuts, as is my usual M.O.
So things are already looking up. Also, after a 3(!!!) year hiatus, I'm going to go back to my favorite place in the world, Downeast Maine, to visit some friends early next month. Bliss ensues.