New Year 2018: Goals. Dreams. Hopes.

Now, in case you missed the drama that was our Christmas lead up and all… you can read about all that here. The short version is this:

  • We all got the flu, and it was terrible
  • One thing after the other kept happening
  • Culminating on Nathan getting a consistent high fever… throwing up all in our bed, to which, the sweetheart kept apologizing for it… AND, our guest bathroom backed up with blackwater (aka sewage) due to the mainline needing clearance… so, I had to hand battle all that with a small trashcan as a bucket… with service master folks also detailing out far later that much needs repair and replacement… none of which could be done until the day after New Years day… yeeaaaaaaaap.

Well, tonight, we decided to keep things VERY chill. It was a welcome change. We slept in… finally. We had Japanese takeout; having Japanese food for New Year Eve had become a serendipitous tradition for this time of year… kinda just happened. We binge watched a bunch of I Love Lucy on Amazon Prime… I made some steak. Kiddo, yet again, had waaaay too much screen time.

And, we’re still coughing and sputtering the left over drainage factors of having the plague… I mean flu…. no, I mean plague.

HOWEVER… my wife and I looked back on this Christmas and New Years season.

To be honest, I’m usually Mr. Positive. In fact, I even won “Mr. Encouragement” back in college. Pretty much everyone knows me as a very positive, optimistic, upbeat kind of guy… it’s hard to get me down and I usually can find the silver lining… behind any cloud… even if that cloud happens to be come from a cyclone.

Nevertheless, if I’m speaking/typing honestly… this one had me down. I found myself getting to that point where I just couldn’t take it anymore.

If one more thing were to happen, I would’ve just cracked.

I wanted my Christmas. I wanted my New Years.

Then… we looked back. And, it really wasn’t all that bad.

Some Self Introspective… Perspective???

The immediate time surrounding Christmas and New Years may not have been as traditionally festive, but… there’s a lot we did.

  • We decorated the house, more so than every before…. just a tragedy that we were the only ones to enjoy it as we got so sick as we did.
  • We took Nathan ice skating for the first time. He LOVED it… sitting on that seal ice skate helper thing… ridiculous and amazing.
  • We went to Disneyland twice and really soaked in the holiday ambiance.
  • We helped serve at our church Hanging of the Greens.
  • We got an espresso maker for Christmas and I’m getting the hang of the bottomless filter — epic coffee.
  • Nathan loved the season, even if he was sick — all the countdowns, the calendars, the socks…. everything!
  • We got to spend a bunch of time together — the entire purpose of this work at home journey.
  • Ultimately, while we’re “sick”… we still have our health. I’ve seen an alarming amount of posts of folks sharing how seriously bad news (the type that has a terminal ending) has been unveiled during this time… making the flu, honestly, while miserable… is something one can totally bear with.
  • I’m a part of two, successful, startup companies — one digital, one brick-and-mortar… both which I get to work, virtually, from home.
  • We live in the best city in the world.
  • Our kiddo is a happy, sweet-hearted, considerate four year old… even though he’s bratty from time to time… and, aren’t they all?
  • I mean… I keep listing things and realizing…… sure, we had a string of bad days… even a string of bad weeks. But, all in all, 2017 was much better than 2016. In fact, 2017 had a lot of wins that probably would just keep this blog post running on and on… and, on… and…… on.

So, how about some goals, dreams, and hopes???

2018 Goals, Dreams, and Hopes

So, without any filtering or organization… here they are:

  1. Fitness — I’ve signed up for an exciting 6 week transformation challenge. I’ve never done anything like this before and honestly, did this for a few reasons (1) accountability, (2) challenge, and (3) to help improve my martial arts training… speaking of…
  2. Martial Arts — Having added Muay Thai training to my pursuits for 2017, I’ve unfortunately and essentially put BJJ on the back burner. For 2018, I hope to ramp up the training for both. If I keep to it, I hope to get a Yellow Arm band ranking for Muay Thai before 18 months of training (which lands me around Oct 2018, or so?) -AND- I’m hoping to really explore no-gi BJJ as I develop in this blue belt phase, and really establish a foundation on my game. I’ve always felt a slower learner of BJJ… still, it’s not about when you “get there,” it’s about the fact you’re on that journey.
  3. Business — The hope is that UpDoc, Inc will hit an incredible stride this year on multiple fronts, becoming the influencer, incubator, influencer brand I know it can be. I also hope that Recharge will be positioned for franchise standards by mid-end of this 2018, with an expansion into San Diego for 2019.
  4. Family — 2017 was a re-centering on purpose… one of our goals was to spend much more quality time together as a family and I know we accomplished it in the most precious of ways. For 2018, I want to hold this value point and get into family rhythms in addition to the impromptu style that is the Fung family… I want a certain regularity, tradition, and/or identity to be additionally established… you can never love on your family enough and I never want to lose sight of that.
  5. Mentorship — The Pathfinders mentorship program I founded had its 1st year in 2017. I hope to grow this into a budding community where it becomes a place where mentors of mentors can be groomed, molded, and set free upon the world.
  6. Creativity and Content — Q4 of 2017 proved to be so busy that I really slacked on blogging, broadcasting, and the like. I want to recommit to this for 2018, perhaps actually getting regular Relate In Eight content out there… maybe even doing a regular live broadcast to help businesses build their brands.

Annnnd… I think that’s it for now…. I’m just typing on the fly since I have a moment to do so. In all cases….

2018. I’m ready for you. I pray you hold treasures of achievement, goals, and pleasant surprises all year.

Happy New Year!

This Christmas… (Not Going To Go The Way You Think)

Our family has always had an “out of town” tradition for Christmas. This year, we decided to stay in town. Why? Well, first, we wanted to attend our church candle light service. 2nd, we wanted to rest. 3rd, we wanted to spend some time with the family in town. 4th, we wanted to serve at our church service; as there would be three services and we could serve at a couple to bless others who would like to attend. 5th, we were hoping to visit the local Christmas lights neighborhoods. 6th, we wanted to have a San Diego family dinner. 7th, I was getting an espresso maker… and, wanted to have endless cups of coffee. 8th… well, you get the picture. We wanted to be home 🙂

WELL!… things didn’t go as planned.

Five days before Christmas, I felt myself getting sick. You know, that funny feeling in your sinuses and with a tiny little knot in your throat… the type you think a little extra sleep, hydration, and vitamin C… just might be able to beat back, despite what sciences you know such a maneuver contradicts.

Well… I got sick. And, it was a full blown flu. What was alarming was that my wife ended up sharing with me this article that flu incidences have spiked this season in our town, and not in a wonderful life giving way… at least, not towards humans. Quite the opposite.

Well, I can tell you it was terrible. I had a fever for 48 hours and broke the fever through 3 huge sweats in the middle of the night that I had to change my shirt each time. It was actually impressive. That, along with the usual muscle aches and laying around in bed too much, did not help. Still, I was in good spirits… even if my body didn’t agree.

My wife as amazing. She picked up all the slack, got kiddo out of the house to give me some rest time. Then, sadly… she got sick. Really sick. Sick to her stomach sick. The day I broke the fever, I went from being sick to switching roles with her… trying to nurse her back to health.

It was this same day (Christmas Eve) that I ran out to hopefully redeem things… I grabbed what needed to be had to make a Christmas Eve ham dinner. I made that, French Onion soup, and butter shallot fingerling potatoes.

Everyone was too sick and I only had a few bites. LOL!

Just as I thought we were getting a breather, my wife got worse. I had to contact my family and we all decided to call off Christmas dinner… my sister and her family were also sick; plus, we didn’t want to get the grandparents sick.

Well… thanks to all this mayhem, we gave Nathan waaaaaaay too much screen time (#parentingfail)… if anything, just some respite from the biological onslaught, going on in our own bodies. In fact, he’s having screen time now. Ha!

OH, did I mention he woke up sick with a cough and stuffy nose??? He’s a champ though and is in awesome moods. Heh, he can’t wait to open presents; but, we’re holding strong until mommy wakes up from a much needed sleep in.

So… we didn’t get to have Christmas Eve dinner. We’re all sick. We won’t be having a big family Christmas meal. We didn’t get to attend candle light, nor help out for the services at church. And, looking back… it didn’t seem like all that bad happened and the experience was truly isolated.

AND… that’s exactly the point.

Driving back from the store to make Christmas Eve ham dinner…. I was overcome with thankfulness and warm emotion.

I was thankful. Blessed. Gracious that I have so very much.

We may be sick, but we have our health. Plans may have not gone the way we thought it would, but it’s still Christmas morning… it’s beautiful and we’re together as a family.

And… unlike in our early years of marriage, I didn’t have to go into the office, clinic, or hospital to work holiday hours. I’m my own boss now…. lol, which means: I have some catch up work to do since Christmas falls on Monday (today)… and, I’ll need to make sure all the deliverables and company operations are in order sometime tonight or super early tomorrow to make up for time zone discrepancies.


Christmas is still my very favorite season of the year. I love everything about it. I love it so much that I’d be listening to Christmas music far before Thanksgiving with lights up before even Halloween. This Christmas didn’t go the way we thought it would have… but, other than the physical discomfort of being ill… there’s nothing I’d change about it. It’s even in this less than convenient times in life that I sit still to remember how good I’ve got it.


Loved ones.

And, the Liberty to continue chasing my dreams.

PS. If there are crazy grammatical, autocorrect, or other types of typing errors… I’m just going to leave them in. There are other, more important things to attend to, today 😉

A Wedding and A Surfboard

So…! It’s been pretty busy. There is constantly stuff I want to share. Honestly, I’m starting to consider switching my format into a video blog vs. written content. Two reasons: (1) it’s faster, and, (2) it’s just faster. LOL! If you’re a parent… you get it. Which reminds me of a funny thing I saw on Facebook re: people saying they are “Tired” & don’t have kids.

And, in case you want a quick laugh, check this one out. Nathan cannot get enough & will dance exactly like it!

Okay. Enough distractions. On to the post!

So, my best man got married! CRAZY. Haha, it all went so fast. I found out. Three months later. Boom. Married. I also had the pleasure of being his wedding MC. I probably should’ve jabbed a bit more at him; but, honestly, I prefer weddings to be clean, joyous, and a pure celebration. No need for shenanigans… no matter how socially expected it may be.

All to say, seeing my best man married got me thinking about my boy. In as possibly quick as 15 years, he could get married. That, was a daunting thought. It means I have 15 years to make sure he turns into an honorable, kind, caring, self sufficient, and socially contributory man.

I am VERY glad I have my wife in this quest. After all, she is a #HeroWife.

In addition to that big development, I also recently took up surfing.

See… years ago, I was a hardcore surfer. I mean, when the surf advisory was up, that means I was out surfing that nonsense. There were waves I rode that I had no business even thinking about. Many times, I’d come out of these obscure local spots where only a few people were looking on. After I was done, people would shake my hand and tell me I did great.

I was all confused. They were just waves. That was, until I turned around… and, saw the MONSTERS I was riding. Surfers were like little dots. And, I was one of those dots!

Ultimately, back in 2009 or early 2010, I went out to one of my favorite spots. Unfortunately, things went poorly. Tide went out, reef got exposed, and the waves jacked up 50% higher than anyone was prepared for. I sat there, bobbing around and dodging huge waves… wondering if I would ever get back in. Plus, we were getting swept out to the kelp beds due to the current. NOT GOOD.

After that time, I basically quit surfing. I felt it was too selfish of me to go on doing stuff like that.

Well… this summer, one of my best buds dragged me back into the water. The water temperature in San Diego was 75 degree F… warmer than the air temperature, many mornings and evenings.

Suffice to say, surfing is back in my life. And, it’s really nice to be back in the water. It’s also nice to feel like a smarter/wiser surfer. I feel I’m actually better at surfing now, even after taking such a long break. I think what has changed is that I’m much more judicious of the water conditions and the waves I go for. I need to be safe as much as I need to be having fun.

It’s not about me, anymore.

What connects surfing and fatherhood came when I started noticing a LOT of dads taking their kids out to learn how to surf. It spanned all ages; from 7-8yo to mid-teens. It was really cool to see. The kids were TALENTED, too. Now, other than teaching Nathan about the world at large and introducing him to martial arts… I can’t wait to take him surfing!

Oh, it was also kinda cool to see this blog on Top Dad Bloggers, again!

And, this…

Yup. #dadblogger #parentingblogger #Snapchat #starwars #starwarsfan #chewbacca

A video posted by Ben Fung (aka @DrBenFung) (@daddyintheraw) on

Life Happens

Home got flooded. Found some awesome eats: Fig Tree, Green Acre, Harbor House (more on that in another post). Nate hurt his knee… still don’t get how (yet, another post). Business is REALLY picking up. We lived in hotels for a month. I gained a bunch of weight. Didn’t get to train as much… surfed for the 1st time in forever. AND, realized how much I actually work.

It’s a perfect post for a video entry!

So… here it is.

And, here’s the epic snapchat story on Nate’s birthday 🙂