I drove south down the Oregon Coast yesterday, trying to get one more quick trip in before Keith's surgery. It rained almost the entire way down, four hours of leisurely driving through mossy old growth trees and open windy bays. Claire sat happily in the backseat, staring at either me or out the window, happy just to be along for the ride.
I listened to music most of the way, which is really what you need to do to get lost in thought properly. I thought about restarting this blog this week, about what the important things were to say (I know what a luxury this break is. I know everything we've given up for it. I cannot waste it, I will not waste it, and I hope that recording some of it keeps me honest about how I'm spending my time and the decisions behind all the things that come next). I thought about what some of those things might be (I want to start a non-profit, I want to continue to be creative on a regular basis, I want to get myself ready to work hard again and then to do it, for something I believe in.). I thought about visiting with my mom and my sister and my brother next week, and how excited I am to see them. I thought a little (but not too much) about how and why I left Amazon but mostly I am at peace with all of that now.
When I stopped for lunch I found myself reading an article from Patrick Pichette, the CFO at Google. He wrote a post about why he's retiring and it was so lovely I had to stop reading it because I thought I might burst into tears right there at the counter in the truck stop diner. I finished eating, paid my bill and went to sit in my car to finish it. There's lots in it that I love -- for starters, a FINANCE guy wrote it. He thinks of his bicycling as his introvert happy place, he talks about being a member of the FWIO, the noble Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers (!), and he is grateful and happy for his life but choosing something bigger and scarier and more meaningful. I liked this part in particular: "...The short answer is simply that I could not find a good argument to tell Tamar we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road - celebrate our last 25 years together by turning the page and enjoy a perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty, and leave the door open to serendipity for our next leadership opportunities, once our long list of travels and adventures is exhausted." I have never before heard anyone refer to a midlife crisis full of bliss and beauty, but that is it! That is what I'm having. I insist!