2011 was a big and memorable year for me and my family. My wife and I started the year staying up all hours of the day and night taking care of our new beautiful baby girl. We were just returning back to work after taking a few months off to care for her. Looking back, I still don’t know how we managed. Finding reliable daycare was a challenge so we spent a good amount of time working opposite days and hardly spending any time together. We eventually came up with a system that worked us while not breaking the bank, but it certainly didn’t take the stress away.
About the same time we were tackling the challenge of raising a baby, I left my job in management and returned to the streets as a field paramedic. It was a difficult adjustment financially and logistically, but I truly feel that it worked out for the best. For once, I felt like my time was truly my own, and that allowed me to spend more quality time with my wife and kids.
I would say the highlight of 2011 was watching my youngest daughter grow. It seemed like every day she was (and still is) learning something new and becoming more mobile. As she continues to grow, she looks and acts more and more like her mom, which is a good thing! When I look at her with her bright blue eyes and beautiful smile, it reminds so much of when I met her mother and started trying to “work my magic” to convince her to date me. It also reminds me of how being persistent paid off.
One of the more notable accomplishments of 2011 was our decision to move to Texas to start a new life together. It all started with us sitting around the bedroom one night and coming up with the idea to move away from California. About a month later, we were on a plane to Fort Worth for my first job interview. This was only the start to a stressful and sometimes discouraging period of time. We traveled to Texas several times, made countless phone calls, applied to many different jobs, stressed over daycare options, worried about finances, and struggled with reciprocity issues for our professional licenses. My job search ended with a phone call and a Skype interview at a local Children’s Hospital while my wife’s ended with a job offer during our final trip to Fort Worth.
The move was bitter-sweet. Saying goodbye to friends and family was no easy task. After nearly 7 years at my job, it was hard to clock out for the last time and head off into the unknown. My wife and I started work shortly after arriving here in Texas and settled in without too much difficulty. We miss our friends, but the excitement of going back to school, buying a new house and starting a new chapter in our lives keeps us going. I got lucky and landed a gig playing drums with a popular band around here. I’m playing shows that I never thought I would do and I’m meeting people that I never imagined meeting. I’m working for 2 great places. The children’s hospital really opened my eyes to world of pediatric medicine and it made me realize how much I love working with kids. The job at rural ambulance service was a much needed change as well. Big-city EMS was getting to me in a bad way and I didn’t like the person that I had become.
I’m really excited to see what 2012 brings us. As far as my career goes, I’m starting up school again with plans for much higher education. More on that later. I have some plans for my blogs that I can only hope time allows me to accomplish. I also want to get back in shape and start getting back into the habit of eating healthy. But most importantly, I want to make it my goal this year to let nothing stand in the way of my family life. My wife and I endured a lot of stress making these changes possible, and I think it’s time that we get to enjoy the benefits that this move has to offer.
I hope y’all (that’s Texas talk right there) have a great year and are able to fulfill each and every one of your goals.