Jan 15

2017 Year in Review

I’m a statistic for failed New Year’s Resolutions.

Still, I got a lot more done than I would have if I hadn’t set any goals at all.

In 2017 I became a CISSP, lost a family member, gained two new family members, saw the eclipse, lost two pets, rode some waves, put out a microwave fire, climbed trees, saw thousands of bats, blew an engine, bought a new car, went sledding, had too many hangovers, kayaked a river, had some arguments, learned new skateboard tricks, broke both arms, played like a kid at a trampoline park, and more.

  

Overall, it was a pretty good year!

I had 3 goals for 2017:

  1. Earn the CEH certification and blog about the journey
  2. Pay off some debt
  3. Stop cooking

I know #3 might sound weird but I was constantly buying food and letting it rot in my fridge because I never got around to cooking it.  When I did cook it, it usually tasted bad and the leftovers rotted in the fridge.  It was a huge waste of time and money, so I set out to just eat out and buy premade frozen meals that weren’t too terribly unhealthy.  This was the one goal I kept, and it actually worked out pretty well.

#2 went terribly wrong and I went the other direction on debt but, life happens and I wasn’t ready.

#1 is what the rest of the post is about.  I’m writing this to share my experience in the hopes that someone will relate to it and maybe it will be helpful to see my failures.  I’m also writing it just to give myself closure on this unfinished CEH series.

January 2017 was awesome!  I worked like crazy to learn ethical hacking and write about my journey.  I was learning not only IT but social media and blogging too.  It was a little too much at once though and I couldn’t sustain that time commitment.

CEH

I was working all day, coming home and spending time with my kids until they went to bed, then working on my security goals from 10 PM until 2 AM.  My wife was working nights at the time, so I didn’t have anything else to do.  I didn’t have anybody to remind me to go to bed either.

This went great for a couple months, then her schedule changed and she wasn’t working nights anymore.  It’s not her fault that I stopped, we just never had the conversation that I wasn’t going to see her at night 5 nights a week so I could work on my career goals.  It was easier for me to just hang out and watch Netflix after the kids went to bed instead.  I tried to squeeze in the work while watching TV but then I didn’t enjoy the show or the work and I eventually just gave up.  I never actually decided to “quit” it was just that night after night, I never got around to it.

Interestingly, I started drinking again after being sober for almost 2 years.  Looking back at the timing, I didn’t fail my goals because I started drinking…I started drinking again because I didn’t have a goal to keep me motivated.  This might be my most important learning experience of 2017.

So that’s it, the #EarnCEH dream died but I did manage to get the CISSP instead.  I also didn’t throw out any liquified rotten vegetables.

  

BUT wait…why not try again?  Honestly, I’ve lost interest.  Well, I haven’t lost interest in learning offensive security techniques but I’m no longer interested in pursuing the CEH certification.  Also, I can only focus on one thing at a time and I am working on a big new project in 2018.  This time, I’m not going to post about it at all until it is done!  I think I am just wired to work better that way.

I hope this was helpful for at least one person.  Here’s to a great 2018!

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