Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in review

I think 2013 will be the last exciting year for the next while. We got a lot of things done, attained some goals and crossed stuff from the bucket list. All that required preparation, laying some bases, hard training and saving money during the previous years, which is what I see myself doing for the next year or two again.

Nevertheless let’s see what happened this year:

Early January we ran a Marathon. 42km. Those who don’t know me, I used to be a +300lbs obese, diabetic fellow till 2010. So yes, Marathon was a big achievement.

Later on the year I also managed to run my first Triathlon. Although the distance was way shorter than a marathon, the swimming part was really hard. I have little experience on that particular sport and even less on open-water swimming. But I managed to finish it on a better time than I expected.

I also ran a half marathon, a couple 10Ks, set a new PR on a 5K and ran an mid-distance Duatlhon. Now that I think, this year was intense.

But for what I have planned for the future, training more and more and longer and longer won’t cut. So I started lifting weights and more recently crossfitting.

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Unfortunately I didn’t have too many opportunities to learn new things this year, but I did manage to get a firearms safety course, which I still plan to continue to the next level, which is restricted firearms safety. My grandfather always says that knowledge does not take real estate (if that translation makes any sense in English), meaning that if you can learn something, do it. It won’t cause any trouble to know more stuff.

The other course I attend to was “Disaster Preparedness” on Coursera. Very interesting and informative. It’s a free online training, which I would recommend everyone to take.

So by the summer I was feeling fit enough and brave enough to apply for the Halifax Search and Rescue, which I’m interested in since 2008. I knew I couldn’t do it before, but maybe now I would make the cut. And I did it. And put a lot of training hours on it and I’m now a fully trained searcher. This is one of the most challenging things I’ve done. So completely outside of my comfort zone that I can’t even describe.

Now, one of the most special things this year was our 10th anniversary. I can’t believe how old we got. I mean, only old people  are married for 10 years, right? To celebrate that we went back to the same places we spent our honey moon, back in 2003: Paris and London.

Not only it is awesome to be married to my dear wife for 10 years, but we are almost at the point were we will be together for longer than we’ve been alone, since we started dating in 1997. \o/

Of course life is not made only of good stuff and plenty of nasty things happened as well, but I see no point on thinking about them. Some were lessons to be learned, some were just facts of life, some a kick on the butt to get me moving and some a humble reminder that I’m not the one in control of my life. God is.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.(Isaiah 64:7-8, ESV)

So between pushing hard on sports, engaging on some new challenges and moving to the next 10 years of my marriage, it was a pretty good year. Will be hard to beat this one, though I have plans. If those plans will match with God’s plans it’s still an unknown, but all I can do is to plan, prepare and give my best.

English

Six years and counting. That’s how long I’ve been living in Canada. And still, I had to check Google to see if that is “I’ve been” or “I’ve being”.

See, English is my second language. Some of it’s rules and grammar are easier to grasp, but some not so much. I have no doubt about when to use “you are” or “your”, which seems to be a puzzle to many native speakers. But it confuses the heck out of me when to decide if I need to be “on the loop” or “in the loop” about something.

hand-grenade

Something I always end up laughing about are names and nicknames. I remember on my first job here I was told to get in touch with Bill White (or something like that) and that his name would be on the company’s directory. After 20 minutes searching like a maniac I gave up. Called my co-worker and said that the guy was not on the directory. In 15 seconds he opened the directory and showed me: “Here he is! William White. “. Oh… great. 😐

And I won’t even talk about my accent. I’m so glad that a few of my friends and colleagues got used to it, so they translate what I just said from English to proper English.

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But, as I said, six years speaking English daily. It’s my main communication language. Even at home, where 100% of the population speaks Portuguese (dogs included), about a quarter of so of all conversation will involve a word, a phrase or sometimes even a whole idea in English.

All my relationships are in English nowadays and even on my Twitter profile I use English most of the time. Once in a while I dream in English and very often I catch myself thinking in that language. It’s almost second nature nature now.

Almost. There are things I still can’t do in English. I can’t pray in English. I can’t keep focus on someone reading out loud in English (long texts, that is), I’m not able to listen to a conversation if I’m not paying attention to it and I’m utterly unable to count (properly) in English.

The last one is the most annoying one. I CAN count in English. I can also count in Portuguese. But I can’t go from one to the other. And very often I start counting something with someone (reps with a trainer, number of files with a co-worker, lines in a spreadsheet with my boss) and I go: “um, dois, três…” and they go “one, two, three”. And… I’m lost. Have to start again.

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Something I’m not entirely sure how to feel about is how nice my fellow Canadians are when it comes to my bad English. I worked with Americans before and they won’t think twice before sticking to your face every mistake in they precious language. Which is bad, for obvious reasons, but also good because you are very unlikely to make that same mistake again.

Canadians, on the other hand, will let you get away with pretty much every possible mistake, as far as they understand what you mean. Some of them will disguise a correction into another sentence on that same conversation, which I deeply appreciate, but most of them won’t even bother. I said something, they got it, move on.

Well, all that is just to say that since all my life revolves around the English language for a while now, and will keep like that for as long as possible, I should probably start to blog in English too. I have my Blog for about 10 years now, exclusively in Portuguese. Time to change that. And nothing better than a totally useless post with zero interesting content to start.

Thanks for reading!

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