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January 15, 2004: Milestones

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Four years ago today I wrote my very first entry in this journal, titled "Waking up to green mice." Naturally, it had to do with cats, because what better way to start a journal written by, and about, a bonified cat lover.

Over the past four years the journal has undergone a handful of design changes - some minor (like when I discovered how to make buttons in a graphics program and replaced the text links), and some major (first it was blue, then it was yellow and green, now it is mostly purple). My life has undergone a lot of changes as well. I went from working as a highly stressed (but highly paid) software consultant traveling hither and yon writing code, to pure technical writing, to being laid off, to working with social workers and their clients, and then to a job which combines the best of the code writing and the technical writing into one and that doesn't require travel or a hideous commute. I went from single, to dating, to married. I went from renting a tiny little house to building a house from scratch that's almost double the space of what we were used to. I went from couch potato to someone who's working out regularly (3 to 5 times a week); someone who actually not only owns padded spandex bike shorts, but who wears them for actual bike riding on a (getting more) regular basis.

There've been a lot of changes in the past four years, most of which are documented in this little journal of mine. On a whim I counted - I've written over 770 entries so far. Never in my life have I managed to maintain a paper journal for more than a few months at a time, but it's been four years for this one.

So anyway, four years. And speaking of exercise and biking and padded shorts, Richard and I decided that despite the severe slackage of last year in the biking department (due to job changes, job travel, and let's face it - sheer sloth), we wanted to keep up with the riding. So we made an agreement to try to ride 1000 miles in 2004. Since it only averages out to a little over 80 miles per month it's really not such an impressive goal as it might look. The main thing is just to get us back on the bikes.

To that end we got up on Tuesday morning and went for a brisk but short ride around town. The batteries in our bike lights are dead so we decided to stick to the better lit roads in town, and managed to cross off the first 6.5 miles toward our goal. It's not much, but it's a start. I realize that January is going to be a slow month as we tweak our schedules and get ourselves back into the habit while trying to work around inclement weather (this morning, for example, it was so foggy that riding in the dark would have been too dangerous), but I know once we get back into a rhythm, it will all work out.

As a little added incentive for myself in this goal, I signed up for Going Nowhere, joining a throng of other people determined to rack up miles in some manner or another. So hopefully soon I will be able to start proudly displaying a string of little icons at the bottom of my entries, marking my progress to date. It's a toss up between whether I want to measure my progress in rubber duckies or in chocolate chip cookies, but since I don't have to worry about that until the first 100 miles, I figure I've got a few more weeks to make up my mind.

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