Live by Design by TREY KAUFFMAN

Issue #52 | NOVEMBER 16, 2023
This issue clocks in at 749 words — about a 3 minute read

In this issue:

  • The Winter of My Yearning: All I want for Christmas is a better me
  • 52 Weeks: A reflection on a year of writing
  • Subscriber Highlight: Shawn B. shares her accomplishments and struggles
  • Update your birthday

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The Winter of My Yearning

Something strange is happening. Friends and colleagues lost to the tides of time have been crossing the great expanse to reconnect. Going beyond the confines of our past relationships, they're reaching out to say my words have touched them in some way.

Each time it's a unique reflection, each time a welcome compliment. I'm overjoyed the work I've dedicated myself to over the course of the last year has reverberated beyond the modest (but most welcome) audience I've built, but that isn't what has struck me as strange.

As my voice has developed, as I've become more open and well-written about the high bars I've set for myself, comments I've received have focused in on a narrow two parts of my life: My four years of sobriety, and the journey I've embarked on to learn how to swim in my late 30s.

My gratitude knows no bounds that my story is resonating with others, but a fear looms that I've managed to pigeonhole myself. That Trey Kauffman has become synonymous with Sober Guy and Swimming Guy, or maybe the catchier Sober Swimming Guy.

There's a branding proverb in there, and it's if you want people to find you interesting, you have to do interesting things.

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52 Weeks

Reflecting back on a year of sitting down to write every single week, I'm struggling to come up with another habit I've taken to as seriously as this one. Running, as much as I love doing it, always falls off in the summer months. Swimming on the other hand stands a real chance.

My focus for Live by Design has always been to provide an outlet to archive my habits and mindsets in near real time. I publish them because I'm vain, and because it's my belief others can either find value in them or read them as a cautionary tale.

The gratitude I have for those who have reached out to tell me the newsletter has moved or inspired them is immense, as is the gratitude I have for the silent subscribers. Your time is as valuable to me as is my own, so I hope to never waste it.

As it was originally intended, my personal growth over the course of these 52 weeks has been incredible. And whether I feel the words I send out on a weekly basis are rough or polished, having committed to this habit has done enough to change me on a fundamental level. I have a new appreciation for creating and the work it takes to speak to others in a way that is both informative and engaging.

So truly, from my heart to yours, thank you for being here.


Subscriber Feature: Shawn B.

A couple of weeks ago I sent out a request for subscribers to share a little about themselves so that they may be featured them in an upcoming issue.

This week I'd like to feature Shawn, who has shared some of her accomplishments and struggles.

What's one area of life you're incredibly proud of?
In the last 1.5 years I have lost 65 pounds. As a 66 year old woman, that is incredibly difficult.

Where are you currently struggling?
I am trying to learn how to be a good ally to the LGBTQ community.

What book changed your life?
How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Peter McWilliams, Harold H. Bloomfield, and Melba Colgrove.

I'm truly grateful for Shawn sharing her vulnerability as well as her wins, and I hope it inspires others to do so as well!

If you're interested in being featured in a future issue, tap the button below. If I feature you, you'll receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

Become a Featured Subscriber


Critical Thought

"Every habit and capability is confirmed and grows in its corresponding actions, walking by walking, and running by running . . . therefore, if you want to do something make a habit of it, if you don’t want to do that, don’t, but make a habit of something else instead."

Would you mind sharing?

I hope you're finding value in these weekly emails. Your support is what keeps me showing up (for you and for myself) week after week.

I'd be incredibly grateful if you could share this issue with a friend.

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