Fatherhood: Reloaded
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Reflecting on 2023: A Personal Journey of Challenges and Triumphs

It’s been a while since I’ve written directly to you, the reader. The audience.

So why not start the new year with a bit of a conversation about this site, where we’ve been, and where we’re going?

The Beast of 2023

Last year proved to be a beast. Life was busy, hectic, and stressful. We went through multiple Mehta castings, surgery on both ankles, and multiple leg casts with Harrison. We had track and Senior year soccer for Canaan. Abby has changed schools twice. Not to mention, work has been extremely busy, with a lot of windshield time. Plus, we highlighted the last quarter of the year with Harrison’s new “regurgitation” issue, which we’re still determining if it is medically or behaviorally triggered. It was a loaded year, and looking back at the year as a whole, it appears that this website and my health were the two things that took the brunt of it all.

Health

I’ve already documented my weight gain, but in recent weeks, my back decided to get me a Birthday/Christmas present combo in the form of horrible sciatica pain. The pain started gradually on my birthday, but a week later at Christmas, I was in full-blown misery. This recent development came at the perfect time, as I had taken vacation time to spend with my family during the holidays. I had also planned to accomplish a few things around the house and get caught up on some writing. As I spent the majority of my time off in pain, I accomplished none of those.

So health took a major backseat in 2023. My health goal in 2024 is to get myself to a point where I’m feeling good, I’m feeling healthy, and I no longer feel my age. (He writes as he sits awkwardly, still in pain) It has gotten past the point of me losing weight and getting into shape is just something I want to do. It now feels that it’s something I need to do.

It’s no longer about gym selfies, muscle flexes, and being sexy for my wife. It’s about being healthier and simply feeling better so I’m not always drained or in pain, and can keep up with my soon-to-be 3-year-old.

Freelancing

Lack of energy or time has also led to a lack of freelance graphic design work. I started Sapling Creative for my wife and me this time last year, thinking that we’d be an unstoppable team, tackle a few projects, and have a successful year. The funny thing about that, though, is you have to advertise and get your name out there for such things to occur. We didn’t. There always seemed to be something we had to do just on the horizon that kept us from really throwing all our focus into Sapling Creative. Outside of my typical clients, and her grabbing just a few weddings, we really kicked things off with a whimper.

The Website Itself

If that wasn’t enough to be frustrated over, with everything that has gone on in the past year, the site took a hit as well. I couldn’t get the content out that I have in the past, and the stats show it. I’m going to be completely transparent here. Overall for the year, the site’s traffic was down 53% compared to last year. I’ve had this site going for 3 full calendar years, and last year was the worst traffic-wise. I run this alone, so it all comes down to me, but such a downward trend does make one feel the need to take a step back and reevaluate.

I won’t lie. It’s a pretty big punch to the gut to see numbers that are in a continual downward trend. Like I said, it is on me. I’ve tried to supplement the site’s content with more entertainment-related content, but I have to accept that I’m no longer the entertainment reporter I fancied myself back in the early days of my first website Geekasms.

Plus, that content just doesn’t fit the vibe of the site outside a select few things.

It’s just not as easy for me to write as it once was. Be it from time, desire, or content inspiration. The list can go on and on.

I still love getting the chance to highlight and review things. However, my hopes of working with more companies has proven to be a pipe dream.

This site has always been a hobby more than anything else. I don’t have ads on here, or affiliate links, so I make no money. The site has been an outlet, one that I would get a rush from any time a post would take off. I’ve also always been able to balance the money I put into the site with the products that I would occasionally receive. Neither of those things occurred last year to the levels they had the previous two years though.

The Silver Linings of Life

The year wasn’t a complete downer, however. Harrison has gone from knee walking, to ankle surgery, to standing on his own, to he has now officially taken his first steps!

I’ve started researching my genealogy, designing a few shirts and stickers, and have started to do switch-enabled conversions to some of Harrison’s toys. All of which will probably find their way here onto the site. (Technically, I’ve already posted the steps on how I converted his Bluey toy to be switch-enabled, however, I’m beginning to do more, and document it all better.)

To 2024 and Beyond!

So where are we looking at 2024? Funny enough, that’s where you come in and the point of this post. I want to know what you, the reader, want from me the Michael. What kind of content would you like to check out? More geeky, techy stuff? More insight into our lives, and raising Harrison and the different hurdles and successes we have? You may even want more entertainment news. Hell, even random rambling posts such as this one are on the table as well. The sky is truly the limit.

My website goal for the year is to not only get the site back to where it was but to surpass that threshold. My social channels for this site continue to slowly grow (thank you!) and I plan on posting more on there, including doing more videos as it seems like that fad isn’t going to die.

Oh, and speaking of social channels, during the past year I also created an account on Threads and Blueysky, so if you have either of those, feel free to follow me there!

Thank YOU

Ultimately, however, if you’ve read to this point, I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for visiting the site, and I hope you do give some input, be it in a comment here or a social media response. I thank you for it all. Sure, the past year was busy, but the past three years have been nearly insane. This site has been an escape, a refuge, and an outlet. All things I have needed, and all things that wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have people like you, taking the time to read the cobbling together of words that I do at a keyboard.

So thank you!

As for 2024. While I’m striving to make improvements in multiple facets for myself, I hope the year ahead is nothing but glorious for you and your loved ones!

Thank you again,

Michael

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