January 2024 Recap

It's time for some courage...

For the first time in my life I woke up on January 1st in a new country. Sure it was Canada and sure the hotel I was staying at was less than a single mile from America, and yet, somehow, it felt momentous.

Perhaps the personal quality of myself that I am least proud of is how I deal with change. I am comforted by routine. I like to always have a plan. And therefore when I cannot rely on either I handle it poorly. Honestly, I think I just lack courage at times. 

So… my word for 2024 is COURAGE. I want to be exhibit more courage and do more courageous things. 

My personal mantra this year is…”when in doubt of what to do or say, pick the courageous option.”

Reflecting further, I want to…

  • do the right thing, not the easy thing
  • speak and express myself candidly and genuinely
  • forget about always being perfect
  • stand up for what I believe in
  • make decisions that encourage new things and better behavior
  • to be myself
  • to accept what the future holds, even if it’s not the future I imagine
Prince of Wales Hotel ~ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

January in Wisconsin is traditionally the coldest, snowiest, and most hard to endure month of the year. I often remind myself that if I can get through January, Spring is right around the corner.

And snow it did. Over 16 inches of snow fell in a single day during the second week. Heavy, wet snow obscured everything and shut down a large portion of southeastern Wisconsin.

There’s a certain beauty about a big snowstorm. I find the feeling of being trapped in a literal snow globe to have a cozy vibe. You can’t go anywhere. The world shrinks and becomes quiet.

This sentiment quickly disappeared when we lost power to our house and the use of our furnace in the first few hours of the storm. 36 hours later when the power returned the temperature in our house was 39 degrees. We were cold, yes. But we were fortunate to have the use of our wood-burning fireplace and spent most of our waking time huddled in front of it reading our books.

The rest of the time we were snowblowing the driveway, shoveling the walk, and running (more like wading) through the yard trying to get the snow off the branches of the trees.

Tree damage after January 12th snowstorm

The only real disaster that struck our property was that we could not save all the trees. The weight of the snow in combination with 30+ MPH winds was a devastating combination, and many trees and large branches littered our yard by the time the storm had passed over us. It was a helpless feeling hearing snapping timber, echoing like a firecracker, each time another piece of our forest fell to the earth.

Ironically, in recent years we’ve reminisced with other local residents about the great snow storms of the 1990s and debated if we would see their like again. We will be talking about the snow storm of January 2024 for years to come.

The house feels extra cozy after fresh fallen snow

It’s also that time of year where I look at my website and feel the itch to do a complete overhaul. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of that process as the time of publishing this journal entry. You’ll probably continue to notice a few cosmetic changes here and there but by-and-large I’m happy where this is going. I’m hopeful the new look will encourage me to write more and publish more frequently because I did such a bad of that in the back half of last year.

I’ve also solved one of my grievances with my old site by spinning up a few dedicated subdomains. It came down to the fact that I wanted a couple of online spaces to post some specific items and not have to worry about matching the thematic of my main personal site.

Seeing as I do not care too much about SEO rankings, subdomains felt like the logical choice where I could do some different fun things with full creative freedom. For now these pages will be linked via my Projects tab for my own navigation sanity.

My full media diet log can be found here. My favorite book I read in January was The Bee Sting by Paul Murray. My favorite film I watched in January was Poor Things. Emma Stone was sensational as always.

Evan 👋