Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

A Remarkable Year

As I wrote in January about my grand plans for 2019, I laid out a vision for a totally new me. I recognized the malaise that I had fallen into over the past four years, caught up in the responsibilities of parenting. Though left unsaid, I was adrift in the ocean of technology, struggling to maintain focus and presence. I declared that 2019 would be different, not knowing the truth in that bold pronouncement.

In the past fifteen years of my life, none have been as categorically successful as 2019. Goals that I had worked towards for years came to fruition. I read 40 books, wrote and published a book, and lost 43 pounds. I cleared my entire backlog of books that I wanted to read. I’ve had to replace nearly every article of clothing that I own. My wardrobe now matches my style, and I feel good in them.

I never expected to lose the weight and I never expected to clear out my reading backlog. Now that I have tasted the sweetness of victory, I am a changed man.

2019 was remarkable for me in another way. The last decade brought about the smartphone revolution. I entered the decade by graduating college and starting work. I was a technophile, finding and using the best apps, subscribing to digital entertainment platforms, and immersed in the social media networks of the Internet.

Over the past twelve months, I’ve completed my transition to a technoskeptic. I’ve ended my relationship with all of the major social networks, choosing instead to exist digitally on my personal blog. I’ve deleted my Google account and wound down my business with Amazon. I’ve turned my iPhone into a dumb phone, putting it in its place as a communications device with the world’s best pocket camera inside. I rarely watch television.

I’ve become suspicious of the endless promises of technology. I’ve experienced the price that it exacts for convenience. Instead of giving it carte blanche in my life, I rigorously defend my time and attention, only allowing technology to assist me on my terms.

While I did not fully achieve my vision of a more present father to my children, on top of my domestic responsibilities, I made great strides. The changes that I’ve made, the systems that I’ve implemented, and the progress of 2019 set me up for success to do just that in 2020.