Personal

Kevin’s personal experiences and/or personal opinions.

Make Valentine’s Day special again

vosages-valentines-chocolates-2Every February, Valentine’s Day rolls around again and for many couples it can start to feel like a routine, one year just like the last. Roses, chocolates, dinner at that special restaurant...all of those things that originally were meant to be special touches don’t seem so special anymore if they’re repeated verbatim every February 14. Even the extraordinary can become ordinary if it’s repeated like clockwork year after year after year.

To make matters worse, Valentine’s Day is a day of cultural, social and often personal expectations. Thus if what originally started out years ago as gestures of love are now unconsciously perceived as the same old routine, that is NOT a good thing. So what’s a guy (or gal1 ) to do? …

  1. To keep this post simple and avoid using multiple pronouns in every other sentence, I’m going to refer to your special someone as “she.” If your special someone is a guy, I have the utmost confidence that you’ll be able to swap pronouns as you read. []

The Year of Living Awesomely

As birthdays1 are wont to do, I’ve found myself both reflecting on the past year and thinking ahead to what may be next.

Caution: This is one of my rare 100% personal posts. If you follow KevinABarnes.com for the latest Crohn’s disease news, updates about astronomy and space exploration, or any of the other subjects about which I typically write, you’re probably safe skipping this post and moving on.

The Game of LifeThe past year began (on September 4, 2011) with The Double Date Adventure, an incredible day with two wonderful women. Then the 2012 calendar year kicked off several of the best months of my life.2

  1. Yes, September 4 is my birthday. No, I am not going to make this easy and tell you how old I am. Start googling...it shouldn’t be that difficult to figure out! []
  2. Sorry, I’m not giving any more detail than that. []

Favorite things about 2010

2010After describing four of the key lessons I learned during 2010, I also want to share some of the amazing things I have had in my life during the past year.1 Here are six things that made a significant positive impact on my life during 2010.

6. Mini Cooper S:
An unfortunate traffic accident in late 2010 brought a premature end to the Volkswagon New Beetle I’d driven for the past eight years. But as the old saying goes, “when one car doors closes, another opens.” And the loss of the VW led me to my newest car, a mint condition, low mileage 2006 Mini Cooper S. Admittedly the back seat is for “emergency use only,“2 but that’s not an issue since I can count on one hand the number of times someone rode in my car’s back seat during the past decade. And most importantly, my Mini is a blast to drive.3

  1. This post was in large part inspired by an annual “Favorite Things” list created by Bananza, one of the wonderful individuals I’ve met through running. []
  2. The back seats in Mini Coopers are notoriously tiny. []
  3. I must love my new Mini — I’ve actually named it (“Persephone”). []

What I learned (or re-learned) during 2010

WisdomThe past year has been an extremely challenging one for me personally, and — as frequently is the case when working to overcome challenges — filled with valuable learning experiences. Here are four key lessons I learned (or learned again) during 2010.

1. You make your own luck:
At the base of everything, the universe isn’t under your control (or anyone else’s control for that matter).1 What happens in life is — to a very large degree — determined by probability and random luck. What is under your control is what you do with what the universe has provided. If you closely examine a “lucky” individual (someone for whom everything always seems to turn out right), you’ll usually find that a lot of proactive actions and decisions lie behind each and every thing that turned out right. …

  1. I realize this statement invites disagreement from those who believe in an interventional supreme being. But I’ve yet to see any evidence that any god is controlling our actions on a daily basis like a puppetmaster or warping probability simply to ensure specific outcomes. Feel free to disagree, but you’re unlikely to change my mind. []