On the way to Denver with a side of the Year in Review


Full disclosure as I start to write this I’m about to board a flight heading for Denver. This trip at the end of this year is great way to end what was a very successful year for me. I spent more nights in hotels than any other year in my life, dated more than any other year in my life and wasn’t poor at any point in the year for the first time in my life. I got several training certifications, made ice for the Montreal Canadiens, and in the biggest twist of the year when I was faced with the choice to move back to Milwaukee and was offered a job… I turned it down. Did I go insane? What led me to get to that choice? What led me to about to be on a plane to Denver for the first time in my life?

Well to really start this tale we have to go back to last year. When I went to Wisconsin for my buddy Neil’s wedding. I got hit with some car repairs, and registrations before I left rending me almost poor before I headed west. There are so many telling parts of that journey which was a fricken blast and I’m so glad that I went so don’t think I regret it. But I used my coin jar and an old gift card for gas to get home. I fed off wedding leftovers, mostly a huge bag of popcorn.

When I returned to life in Boston I was poor. And at the time we were short handed at work. I was working at least 6 days a week for awhile until we finally brought in 2 new guys. Soon bigger changes came as we changed management companies, I was promoted to Operations Manager, and things leveled out. As last December came I received a large portion of money from the sale of the property on Weaver Street. It was truly life changing. My first thought was to ask for advice and I went to the person who I know who has the most money and I don’t ever remember seeing her work in the last 30 years… My Aunt Rita. She gave me very specific advice which I followed to almost a tee.

  • Pay off all your existing debt. I paid off the Prius and any other little things I had.

  • Invest some. She gave me tips on what to invest in and now I have a portfolio with more stuff in in other than WWE stock. Which was hot this year BTW… just sayin

  • Keep some in savings to live off. Done. First time I ever opened a savings account. Yup. True story.

  • Do something big for yourself. Enjoy some of it. Go somewhere or do something you’ve always wanted to do. Thus I’m on a plane to Denver to go see my beloved Broncos play in their home stadium. (While my aunt is visiting her final continent down in Antartica!)

I wrote a piece about our family selling off the property in Winooski that was the homestead. Give it a read if you have time, but as sad as it was to lose it… it turned my life around massively. As things improved for me professionally I could now to do stuff like eat whatever I wanted now instead of being stuck to what I could afford. I could afford to go on dates and book trips. Buy stuff without tape on it to replace the stuff that had tape on it. This was a year near the top for me. It’s been awesome. Just having that security… I think I appreciate it more having lived the way I have in the past. Scrounging for stuff to survive… sadly I’m good at it. But since the moment I put those checks in the bank to not live that way anymore. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been on a lavish vacation all year. I mean I’m not eating steaks every night, or buying truffles, or diamond studded office chairs… I was just comfortable and it was nice.

When I was in Milwaukee on 9/12/17 I wrote the following note on a postcard to myself…“Dear Self, If things aren’t better in Boston by next June, get your ass back out to Milwaukee. Live the High Life again on your terms! Remember this trip, know how good it would be.”So when an opening where the fellas work in Milwaukee opened up in March I applied. But honestly as I looked at the postcard in June I realized that things had improved. Almost steadily since I had returned. I didn’t hear back from the place for almost the entire summer and I was ok with it. I did hear from the fellas that they would be reaching out and they eventually did in August. I did a phone interview and all went well. Just days later they called back and had an offer.

So I went to Warrior and told them where I stood. I’ve been offered another job in a city I really like working for teams I like. I have friends there, would have a better life outside of work, and getting setup there would be easy. The cost of living is better and the pay they are offering is about 35% more than I make now. My lease runs out at the end of August and I had not yet resigned. I mean even as I type in now I wonder if a chance to leave Boston would ever be that perfect again.

I never stepped in there with an intent to give my notice. I just wanted them to notice that with all that in front of me I was still down to stay on at Warrior as long as they could get in the neighborhood of the other offer. I was planning ahead and with all I had done with the money earlier I started to notice that I needed to make more to afford my new lifestyle of eating and saving. I heard the things I needed to hear and thus later that day, while on my way to Lowell for a wrestling show, I ironically pulled over in the Chelmsford Forum parking lot where I turned down the offer from Milwaukee. It was very hard for me to do but I felt, and still feel like the best move for me at the time, was to not move. I haven’t stayed one place for too long in the past 10 years so even the fact that I would have been moving out there almost 10 years to the time I first did… I couldn’t let that all distract me. The bottom line was I got what I needed and although I don’t see myself living in Boston forever by any means (the mere typing of that makes me shutter) the fact is, I wasn’t done here yet.

It’s funny because I wanted to write about all of this for a long time. I’m not so sure people who know me would believe that this is even true. It stressed me out for a long time. I knew whatever I chose I would wonder “what if” but you know what? That’s life. I have a life littered with “what ifs” and it’s been a fun ride.

I got to travel to keep my certification train rolling as I took courses in 4 different states and attended my first North American Rink Conference and Expo in Columbus, Ohio. I love having the chance to do such things in my career. I weighed the chances I’d have to move forward if I went to Milwaukee. And while almost everything there seemed good... I knew that work-wise everything was good here. And in no way is that door shut for me to do later if I want.

So I sit here. Waiting to get on this flight to Denver. This means so much to me. It’s more than a thanks to my family and a remembrance to my Grandmother and the place on Weaver Street. It’s more than finally getting this off my bucket list and doing the thing I’ve wanted to do most in my life. It’s more than getting to finally celebrate with my own team’s fans. It’s more than a celebration of a great 2018. It’s everything.

It may sound dumb or simple to some of you, but to me... this is everything.


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