When we first got Keopi, most of our friends and family had a similar response: "how in the world will you have time for a dog?" Neither of us had ever been a pet owner before (apparently Jan had a fish, I don't count that), and between working full time jobs and serving with Vibrant and CCCC, life kept us pretty busy.
I wish I had a smooth answer, but to be honest, we hadn't really spend too much time thinking about it. Instead, when Keopi jumped into our arms and became part of our lives, we simply decided we'd make time.
And so, with no game plan, Keopi became a new constant in our lives...and man, did he take up a lot of time. Perhaps it's because we have no idea what we're doing, but we had to keep an eye on him at all times, especially at the beginning. Even when he wasn't doing anything, we would stay wired and high-strung because who knew what he would take a dump on next? Logic dictates that what goes in is what comes out, but I swear Keopi defies physics, the way the lil dude poops.
But as we celebrate our one year mark with him, I noticed some strange things about our time:
- we sleep more than we did before we got him.
- we cook more at home than before we got him (ok fine, Jan cooks more at home).
- as a deacon and ministry coordinator, we arguably spend even more time at church
- we still spend time with different friends at least once a week.
- Jan started volunteering at her work, and I created a new program at mine.
- I picked up a game called Overwatch, and probably play 5 hours a week.
- we were able to continue to serve in Panama last Christmas
- we still see our parents *almost* every week (we're working on it!).
In fact, I could make a strong case that we do more with Keopi around than before we had him. So how did we do it? As I analyzed my time, I realized some of my time shifts:
- I stopped watching live Canucks games.
- I stopped being up to date with The Flash, Arrow, SHIELD, New Girl, Suits, Gotham, Fresh off the Boat, Quantico, Legends of Tomorrow (and maybe some more, but I can't remember)
- I stopped caring about tech toys. I stopped staying current with blogs like The Verge, Engadget, and Gizmodo.
- I barely watched the Olympics last summer.
- This is my first blog post this year, and it's June.
This whole post wasn't meant to be a humblebrag of how awesome my time management is, trust me, I promise you - I still waste a ton of time. But rather, what I found out is that as things took priority (in this case, one very cute thing), other things quickly and naturally just faded. I don't miss the tv shows I no longer keep up with or miss agonizing over yet another Canucks loss. So if you struggle with a perceived lack of time like I do, perhaps take 5 minutes and do this exercise:
1) Figure out what are the most important things to you. Is it Jesus? Family? Friends? Job? Your bobsledding career? Write them down.
2) Be extremely honest with yourself. Are those really the most important things to you? This is your chance to change your answers.
3) Find a way to lock in time slots for those really important things. Don't tell yourself you can do it without help or structure, because if you did, you wouldn't have read this far. If it's health, sign up for a really expensive spin class that you can't get out of. If it's studying, force yourself to pay for tutoring. If it's work, commit to assigned hours with real consequences if you don't show up. Don't give yourself a reason to back out.
4) Tell your friends and family about it. Tell them you will not get mad as they keep you accountable.
At the end of the day, I'm not really that interested in time optimization. I just hope that we can all look back a year from now, and be satisfied with the way we've spent our time.
Michael Jordan. Pavel Bure. Paul Kariya. Joe Sakic. Markus Naslund. Steve Nash. Ray Allen. Kobe Bryant. These were the athletes that I idolized growing up. They were leaders. They were my heroes. I spent thousands of hours memorizing their stats from their trading cards (pre-internet), studying their moves, and reading any newspaper article I could find on them. Once, I even won a speech contest talking about one of them (it's not who you think it is). In the playground, in my living room - I pretended I was them. As an only child, some of my greatest memories was with them. And yes, I still scream "Kobeee" when throwing paper balls into a trash can. I'm aware how feeble young Sam sounds, but sports fandom was a big chapter in my life.
Last night, this chapter closed.
Here's some of the things I've learned six months into my rookie season as a husband:
(The following is approved by my wife.)
When I started anothersamchan.com many moons ago, I was a bored and ambitious college kid, eager to make my mark on the world (wide web). I blogged about sports, I blogged about school, I blogged about tech, and at one point, I probably blogged about blogging.
I got a lot out of it. I made my first dollar on the internet. I was interviewed on tv because of my blog. I learned a great deal about HTML, Wordpress, SEO, and design. I became a much better writer, even if this post doesn't reflect it. A lot of people overuse the phrase, but blogging really did change my life. I started out blogging to share things that mattered to me in life, but it changed very quickly. It became a brand building tool, a skill building tool, a resume building tool. More and more, I used blogging to build up my career and I wrote what I thought my ideal readership wanted to see. When I worked in sports, I wrote about sports. When I worked in tech, I wrote about tech. In short, I stopped sharing what was on my mind and instead wrote to create a persona that was smart, funny, and always the right guy for the job. That's when I found blogging to be a lot less interesting, and a lot more like work. That's not what I plan to do here.
Unfortunately, this blog will not be written with you, the reader in mind. If you're reading this to get to know about me as a potential partner, know that I am honest, hardworking, handsome, and good at alliteration. I am not succinct with my words. That should give you a good enough idea of who I am.
Instead this blog will be used to share my learnings, my successes and failures. Some of my thoughts will be unfinished. Some of my thoughts will be flat out wrong. My new posts will sound hypocritical when compared with my old posts. You may call it contradiction but I call it growth.
Maybe I will use the blog to make life announcements. I'm not sure, I haven't decided, and I'm learning to be ok with that.
Janitta may guest post here from time to time. She is a huge inspiration to me, and her wisdom goes much deeper beyond her youthful frame.
Finally, I will explore my relationship with Jesus here. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. We live in an age where our faith is supposed to be kept to ourselves, but every day that makes a little less sense to me. I am going to share my thoughts on what I live for. We don't need to agree. We can still be friends.
I won't be showing my sneaker collection here. That's what instagram is for.
I won't be ranting about sports on here. That's what twitter is for.
I won't be writing about tech or business here. That's what medium and linkedin are for.
If sneakers, sports, tech, or biz were all you wanted to hear about from me, that's awesome. I really appreciate that you cared enough to look me up, but you won't find those things here.
If you've read to the end and you're still interested in what I have to say, perhaps this could be a lot of fun. or maybe it won't.
Guess we're about to find out.