The two big personal stories for me in 2017:

#1 – Stress Handled

I became stressed by the lack of respect for fact, truth, science, logic, law and education expressed in our everyday lives. I became stressed by the observation that other people abandoned traditional core values of charity, sharing, open doors, open borders, nondiscrimination, globalist views, putting others before ourselves and living the Golden Rule. In too many cases I realized that I could not trust people to do the right thing. Criminality and corruption seemed rampant and overpowering. The stress took a toll on all aspects of my life. By year-end, I had resolved to deal with this primarily by spending my time supporting lawyers practicing in small firms that were more likely to reflect my core values. I resolved to disengage with people who do not. I actively embrace the #decencywins approach. I also offered to expand my volunteer service where it will make the most difference. As of now, I feel this situation is under control. I see tangible signs that my mental and physical health is improving.

#2 – NJ Bayshore Business Reorganization

This past year marked a dramatic change in direction of the NJ business from its past life immersed in recreational fishing to its future supporting aquaculture. The change will require capital investment. I helped arrange about $2 million in public/nonprofit financing (committed or pending) but was unable to arrange about $120,000 additional required private source and matching finds. Two former primary investors broke agreements under their own personal stress. I have not yet found alternate sources.  This caught me by surprise and is causing much stress. At year-end I had a $9,000 cash shortfall that threatens my entire financial foundation not only including all that I have invested at the NJ bayshore so far but even my home in PA. As of now, I am still struggling to resolve this. I took a seasonal job as the first step to plug the negative cash flow. I need and will seek additional input from other people on how to address this.

Overall, I feel good about the level of personal integrity that I am able to express now. Being completely open and honest has served me well over this past year (despite some business coaching to “fake it until you make it”). I feel good about the direction of change in leadership of my business as well as local, state and federal government. I look forward to being more fully engaged at all levels. I feel good about the skills, knowledge and official certifications that I was able to build this past year. It certainly feels like 2018 will be better than it predecessor. “Cold but sunny”, as in the photo of Arielle taken 17 years ago this week, seems like a good description of my mood entering 2018.


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