Welcome, or maybe even, welcome back. While you may be thinking you just stumbled across a new website, you may be surprised to learn that this October (2021) will actually mark 7 years for McHenry Life! I won’t rehash all of the initial thoughts behind McHenry Life, you can see what I originally stated in Hello McHenry County and Why McHenry Life.
Best Laid Plans
What’s that saying again about “best-laid plans?” Needless to say, we fell into that one.
With two very busy, demanding jobs, an 11-year-old and a 1-year-old, and a large house & yard to maintain…we may have been overly ambitious in our plans. And when push came to shove, McHenry Life was the only thing that had room to give and it has mostly coasted on autopilot since then.
Listen When Life Speaks
I just realized this as I was writing this very post! In October of 2018, nearly 4 years to the day that McHenry Life launched, my contract with IBM ended. We were downsizing and moving at the time (trying to address maintaining that large house & yard), so what was “next” wasn’t a huge focus, aside from surviving the 1.8-mile move…certainly the shortest move I’ve ever made.
After a few months of getting settled into our new home and not feeling particularly compelled by any new direction, the call of McHenry Life reemerged. It had always been a nagging feeling in my mind and gut…that feeling of having left something undone, having not given it the attention it deserved.
And so I turned my focus back to McHenry Life. So other than some odd consulting here and there, McHenry Life finally got nearly 100% of my attention, starting with completely rebuilding it from the ground up.
Life’s a $*+@#!
Funny thing about life…even when you finally hear the call, don’t expect everything to be smooth sailing. Deep into redeveloping the site and everything chugging along…then March 2020. COVID-19 hit, and like many of you, much of my time was now refocused trying to sort out how to manage and help my son with remote learning. Needless to say, the pace of this endeavor had to be scaled back again.
So for the last year now, I’ve continued as best I could, not just redeveloping McHenry Life, but also reimagining it. Doing this while sitting next to my son on classroom Zoom calls is not how I would have chosen. But I also feel fortunate to have been able to support him in this way during this challenging time.
We have been blessed. I know that many have not been as fortunate or had the same opportunities to support their family through this time as much as they would have liked. I’m sure though that you’ve done what you could and that’s what matters.
McHenry Life 2.0
And so, here we are.
Fast forward to today. Now that 1-year-old is an 8-year-old finishing 2nd grade at Prairie Grove and that 11-year-old is an 18-year-old…graduating this weekend from Prairie Ridge and about to embark on her own exciting path! The house is smaller and there’s very little yard to be maintained, but of course, no matter how much we hope, there’s no shortage of challenges to our time and attention.
The essence of McHenry Life hasn’t changed…to explore and experience all that McHenry County has to offer. But this last year has only shown a brighter spotlight on the importance of this community. The need to support and engage with each other is greater. The desire to share experiences and a greater appreciation of the stories that make up our community has only grown stronger.
McHenry Life will continue to evolve and grow. We hope that it will serve as a vehicle for all of us to explore and experience McHenry County. We hope that you’ll join us on this journey and share your experiences, and maybe, find a few new ones along the way.
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