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2024 Goals & Stuff

Off the Florida Keys There's a place called Kokomo That's where you wanna go To get away from it all Bodies in the sand Tropical drink melting in your hand We'll be falling in love To the rhythm of a steel drum band Down in Kokomo - Kokomo, The Beach Boys

Can you believe it? January is almost over. Totally ridiculous, right?? I am feeling a bit frustrated because time seems to be going by way too quickly. I could also use another weekend, starting tomorrow. Its been hot lately, it was close to 80 degrees today in Irvine. This sort of makes me upset because of spoiled most of us are that live in SoCal. Not complaining. Lots to be thankful for. I guess this means I need to get in the pool.


A friend said you really care about someone if you're willing to drive them to LAX. It's true. It's also why I never ask people to pick me up from LAX since I don't like to inconvenience people.


I had a nice car ride to LAX to drop off Pastor Yohan on Sunday. I was humbled that I was even asked to do it in the first place. I actually don't mind going to LAX that much, especially on the weekend when traffic is light. We had a great discussion. What was memorable was his genuine interest in what were some of my hopes and goals for 2024. I felt somewhat prepared, thanks to this blog and writing about some of them already. How I answered his question got me thinking about where my mindset really is these days and what's important to me. I'll share what I shared with him here and some key takeaways.


Disclaimer: I wouldn't say that the goals below are anything even close to "best practice." Most of these aren't even measurable. This list gives me a good general direction and also a humble reminder that if I want to take any of them more seriously, I need to spend more time coming up with a plan.


1. Triathlon Training and Racing

Before we got into goals, Yohan first asked what I like to do with my free time. I said, train for triathlon. As of now, I have three "A" races planned for this year and my hope is to do well in each of them, perhaps in the top 75th percentile for my age group. I have lots of work to do. As of today, I have a decent fitness base to survive a half Ironman and finish within the cutoff time, but no way could I finish a full Ironman without some serious work. Thankfully I am starting to enjoy training again. I just need to get in the pool. Maybe tomorrow.

Aug 5 2018 - Acworth Women's Sprint Triathlon

2. Meet someone new

"Opening yourself up to a new relationship does not mean you’re replacing your late partner. They will always have a special place in your heart, and no one could possibly take up that space." - Chloe Miller, Tawkify.com

After sharing about triathlon, I couldn't help but share how nice it would be to date again. No need to hide or be ashamed about it, as my heart and conscience feels more settled about the idea instead of anxious. I also feel like reflecting on my marriage and sharing about some of it through this blog seems to make me more and more interested in pursuing a relationship. There's also the practical reasons, like I'm turning 40 soon, so Mayo and I would like to start a family. I'm even confusing myself and my friends with having a "Family Friendly" session during E40. My house also feels a bit big for just me and Mayo.


I also shared with Yohan that February 2 will mark 10 months since Teri passed away. In some ways, the idea of me dating again still feels soon. Since Yohan just lost his dad (he flying back to Hungary for the funeral), I felt it was appropriate to remind both of us that grief doesn't have a timeline. And yes, that fact still bothers me from time to time since I like planning and timelines.


I also shared with several recently that I don't want to put the time required on the dating apps. So maybe I'm not that interested. Or I am lazy. Or too busy. On a related note, one my "bronze sponsors" at E40 said he will pay $1000 if someone introduces him to someone and they stay together for six months. Not a bad idea.


3. Get things organized at work

Next what came to mind is my desire to get some stuff at my job more organized. Lots of work to do. I've been a bit overwhelmed lately and have spent more than I would like in "firefighting mode" than I am used to. Late last year, one of my key manager requisitions was put on hold, so I've had to fill in a lot of gaps in the interim to help "keep the lights on." I'm not upset or anything since this is part of business, I just need to find better ways to keep the team organized and work more efficiently, especially by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI). It's not about doing more, it's about doing the right things. Easier said than done.


Nov 10 2023 - Visiting the Amazing IT Service Desk Team in Mexico & "Olivia" our mascot AI ChatBot

4. Keep Blogging & Write a book

Surprise surprise...I then said that what I really like doing these days with my free time is to blog. I couldn't explain why, I just know that this feels like the opposite of what I do for a living and it's refreshing to talk about feelings and stuff on my mind. I feel most connected to Teri when I pause and think about her, which usually leads me to looking at messages, emails, and photos and then wanting to write about it.


I shared with Yohan that I have my ups and downs, and that I was surprised that I survived the holiday season. I also said that ideally I could just get paid to write a book, since I feel like our story is really unique and special. I know, everyone has a unique story. I just feel like there's so many people out there that are hurting in their relationships like I was with Teri, but no one knows about the problems until it's too late. Even with everything I've written here since day one, I don't feel like I've gotten very far with sharing about our story.


Jan 29 2023 - Photo of me getting interrupted by Mayo while writing 90% of this post on the couch using my phone

5. Read the Entire Bible

I then forgot about my most important goal, reading the bible in a year by following the Bible Project "Bible in a Year" plan. I'm thankful to be caught up and also use The Story Audiobook in parallel to help me understand what's going on. I also feel like this reading plan helps me not just grow closer to God, but draw new insights about Teri's 2022 year when she did the same reading plan. More to come in future posts.


Speaking of Teri, I was most encouraged last week on a run with a friend and hearing him say that "she was ready." The main reason I keep sharing here was that she really fell in love with reading the bible.



I want to be ready as well. Thank you Teri for inspiring so many of us to keep reading and growing in our relationship with God.


6. E40 Conference & Birthday Celebration

I concluded my 2024 goals to share about the E30 conference and my plans to do it again with E40. Like most people's responses, Yohan said "I never heard of such a thing" but sounded intrigued. At this moment, I'm a bit exhausted thinking about the conference. In many ways, this feels like a big distraction and I have my moments of wanting to pull the plug and get my deposit back. It's a lot of work, and like usual I am getting caught up in all the unnecessary details.


Yesterday I was so excited about finally finishing the registration page and couldn't help share with everyone:


Good news, Muir Rock is the "Platinum Sponsor" for the E40 conference!

Working on this registration page gave me another huge appreciation for Teri's professional work. I'm a bit embarrassed thinking about the "ROI" of Teri's effort of our wedding website and lecturing her on it:


  • Teri spent ~30 hours making a fully custom wedding website

  • ~150 people saw the website, spending a few minutes at most

  • Conclusion at the time: Not a good use of her time

  • My New Conclusion: If it made her happy, it doesn't matter who looks at it. Just like the E40 registration page.

Feel free to come if you're interested! Lots of space as of now, especially to Muir Rock readers. Hopefully we hit capacity so we get our moneys worth with the venue, The Colab Space:

Some photos I took today during lunch. I can't wait! Don't worry, big projector screen in the back for all the PPT slides.


7. Learning a new recipe once a month (I forgot)

Since cooking is still the last thing on my mind these days, I forgot to share about this "low priority" goal with Yohan. I guess I'll send him a link to this post. Don't worry, I still have my cooking class scheduled next month, which is better than nothing. I'm actually ahead of schedule since I remembered that Teri and I took a cooking class at Nobu Mailbu to learn how to make Sushi. While going to LAX is one thing, going to Malibu from Irvine is another story, especially in traffic:


Classic Teri falling asleep during a long car ride


We had fun and looking at photos reminds me of how fun it really is to take cooking classes. If you want me to come over so you can teach me how to cook, please let me know!

Oct 2, 2021 - Sushi Making Class with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa

Lessons Learned (also time to sleep)

I'm glad to put all this on paper. I've been reflecting a lot today not about the goals themselves, but about the order of the goals I shared them in. It says a bit about where my heart really is at these days. I always default to to talking about my triathlon goals first. Maybe because I think it's most interesting to talk about and training takes up most of my free time.


Then I talked about meeting someone new. Let's be real, that's at the top of the list! Even better to find someone like Teri that is interested in training with me (well, sometimes). But the narrative I keep telling myself is that I met Teri and she fell in love with me because I was so focused on all my fitness stuff and it was after this random CrossFit competition that I got out of the friend zone:


Mar 4, 2017 (Day 4 of meeting Teri for the first time). I miss Teri. And Mustard. And running 7 minute miles.

Now I tell myself to just be like Teri and read my bible and let God take care of the rest.


There's no doubt that at this same time in 2022, Teri would have answered "Finishing the Bible in a Year" as her first goal because that's all she wanted to talk about. I thought she was crazy since she actually enjoyed reading Leviticus. More stories on that later. Maybe I'll surprise myself when I get to that book. We will see.


Anyways, I'll wrap up early today so I can get back to work on my goals. It's not too late to make your own list of goal and call me so we can talk about it. Or even better, you can write about it in the comments. Thank you for reading and have a great rest of the week!


Erwin

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So good to write out your goals. :)


“be like Teri and read my bible and let God take care of the rest.”

Anderson and I would say something similar. “We try our best and God will do the rest”.


All doable. Lofty yet reasonable. Look forward to seeing your goals get checked off this year. :)

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Great Blog, Erwin. Thanks for sharing. I loved hearing about your goals. That’s funny about your friend who will pay money for a date. Save your money, Erwin. Haha. God will provide for you. Your work team looks nice and I love the pic of Mayo. How cool you met Chef Nobu! That should give you a promotion you ate looking for, just because of that! Have a great rest of your week, Erwin

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Man, I've never even eaten at Nobu, much less taken a class there. Wish we had decent sushi in CZ 😭😭😭 Praying that your eyes would be fixed on the Lord as you pursue these concrete goals so that, no matter how things turn out in the end, your heart, soul, and mind will have peace, joy, and certainty in Him. See you at E40!



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