Unforced changesSat, 26th Aug '23, 2:20 pm::

Last night I went to bed around 11pm without much effort. I woke up minutes before my alarm went off around 6am this morning. I changed into my running gear and went for a short 30-min jog at the local park. Once back home, Naveen and I took out the trash and cleaned out our tortoise Rosie's cage. We did a bunch of other smaller chores and then freshened up.

Our neighbors gave us a bag of homegrown tomatillos last week and I wanted to make Salsa Verda with them. Naveen and I peeled and washed them, broiled them in the oven for 10mins, and blended them along with fresh cilantro, onions, and jalapenos. I added some fresh lime and salt and put it in the fridge to cool down. Juliet wanted fajitas for lunch so she prepared some beans, rice, veggies, and scrambled eggs. Once the salsa was cool, we warmed some tortillas and each of us made our own version of fajitas, burritos, and tacos. Even Leela finished her plate!

I don't expect every weekend to be like this but I hope we have more and more days like this where I get to exercise, help with household chores, prepare meals, and spend time with Juliet and the kids. My weekdays are starting to be predictable now with kids going to school and Juliet back in the ceramics course at our local community college. I absolutely love days when nothing exciting happens but alas that is rare.

Last couple of weeks we were busy with a series of medical appointments and Juliet has a bunch more coming up in September. Next weekend I am flying to Boston and week after to Texas. Towards September-end, Leela is undergoing surgery for ear tubes and adenoid removal. And it is in the middle of all of this, that I am trying to sleep better, eat healthier, be more active, and spend more time with family.

I'm not trying to force any of this overnight because I just can't force major lifestyle changes and make them stick. So instead I am slowly and gradually choosing options that align with my long-term life goals. I had never made salsa before in my life but today I did it because it just seemed like the natural thing to do before the tomatillos went bad. There's nothing extraordinary about exercising, cleaning, cooking, or feeding your own kids. But over the last decade, I stopped finding joy in these things. I did what I did because it needed to be done. Now I'm starting to do these things because I want to.

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Good bye FSThu, 10th Aug '23, 10:10 pm::

Twenty one years ago, Eric from Formulated Solutions reached out to me to design a website. First it was just a small Flash-based product brochure, then another with multiple product lines, then his main company site, and then a full e-commerce site with a PayPal shopping cart and customer portal. In 2004, I moved to Florida to work full time at FS, and steadily the company went from just 20-30 employees to 700+ at last count.

With growth, came complexity. At first we made products for tanning salons but soon after we got into personal care products, sunscreens, aerosols, and eventually high-volume brand-name pharmaceutical products. The web apps I built in 2002, running on PHP3, over time got upgraded and extended to run a full ERP system with MRP, planning, inventory, warehousing, quality, and project management modules used by hundreds of employees across multiple sites 24/7.

I made so many friends at Formulated over the years that more than half the contacts in my phone are tagged FS. I am making new friends here in Woodstock now but there's no way anyone can take the place of Eric, Brian, Kelly, Linda, David, Sandra, Jeff... I could keep listing names but you get the idea. When I look back, I can only recall the good memories of my years at FS despite the many, many stressful days I know we slogged through.

While I look back at these years with fondness and pride, due to Juliet's ongoing treatments, I have had a very hard time last few years to continue to take care of the FS systems. So this Monday, I said my last good byes and asked the IT team to turn off my access. It was bittersweet for sure. I will miss the camaraderie but I look forward to spending more time with Juliet now. Instead of doing our groceries online, I want to take her to local farmers markets for fresh produce. Instead of fast food, I want to prepare healthier meals with her.

I know not what the future holds but I know my past is full of trust, support, and love during my tenure at FS. I hope to build on that for the rest of my life. And Eric, thanks for taking a chance on me. It was a hell of a ride!

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