For Now

“… for now.” -James Roche

Those two little words stopped me in my tracks. They represented an idea that was just foreign enough, presented at just the right time, to have a huge impact. Ultimately, those simple words were a catalyst for personal growth, affecting the way I look at commitment, goals, and fomenting change in my approach to life.

Let’s start with a little story. It’s March of last year and I was sitting in the lobby of the Westin LAX Airport Hotel, having a bite to eat, writing, and simply getting out of the room for a bit. Crista was in full day sessions for her Elevate program meaning a free day for me to reflect and relax. As I was working, I looked up and saw James Roche, one of the Elevate program leaders, walking past during a break from leading the day’s sessions. He had a few minutes and we chatted a bit and caught up. Read more

Chasing Today

Taken at 1/2 second at f/2.2, ISO 32 with a iPhone 5s back camera 4.12mm f/2.2 @ 4.12 mm.

Taken at 1/2 second at f/2.2, ISO 32 with a iPhone 5s back camera 4.12mm f/2.2 @ 4.12 mm.

Through mottled plastic and scratched glass
My vision falls on steel, stretching to the horizon,
Where sunlit clouds blur as we launch,
Reaching into the western sky,
Extending the light, running after the sun,
Chasing today.

A day like the others.
Lists to do, boxes to check,
And nothing particularly special
To dream about yesterday.
Yet these are the days as much as any other,
That make up life. While I am
Chasing today.

There are forever more boxes to check
And longer lists to be found with barely a glance.
Afternoon approaches and
Stress builds with infinite boxes undone.
Panicky plans form,
To work faster,
Run faster,
Stress faster,
And flap plaintively
Even following the setting sun,
Chasing today.

Without looking up this moment would have passed unseen.
The rules that dictate how to experience,
Would have kept me forever looking to tomorrow.
There would have been no stress about this missed sight,
Yet I would have been poorer for it,
Focused on the next,
Instead of experiencing the present, and
Chasing today.

The Journey

wpid3451-DSC_6702.jpgPutting one foot in front of the other
I can see what is next.
Are there holes in the ground?
Or tripping hazards?
Or a fence to climb?
Is there a lion waiting to eat me?
So many hazards to react to as I walk along the path,
All of my attention focused
On not falling on my face
On not slipping off the clifff
On not making a mistake
On reacting to what is in front of me
Step after step, the path is fairly clear.

I lift my head and see mountains in the distance
And the ocean.
Their beauty is overwhelming
Their majesty takes my breath away,
and I think, “I want to get there.”
And I think, “I want to see that up close.”
The view inspires me,
drives me,
To lift my head up more often.
I can see the hill that is coming,
And can see further down the path,
Can see challenges that might be coming before the next bend.
But I can’t see what is just beyond the next hill,
only the awesome mountain behind it
only the endless sea and wide sandy shore.

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What is Ordinary?

Just what is ordinary? Through my life there have been points I felt I understood ordinary. What a normal life should be or average expectations of an experience were. And as I look back at all of those times I realize that the ordinary of that moment was merely a passing construct of my life’s experiences up until that point. In hindsight, the ephemerality of ordinary seems obvious. Yet, even writing this, a grasp of how this applies at this exact moment remains an elusive concept. Logically I know it must be so, and I look forward to experiencing it, but the lizard brain is humoring the logical part, just sort of nodding along while remaining ready for the next moment’s expected experience.

In hindsight, the ephemerality of ordinary seems obvious.

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A Gift to Myself

This Christmas day I gave myself a small gift. A walk in peace, quiet, and mindfulness. After a morning of conversation with my mother and uncle, we went out for a short walk, together but allowing ourselves to be alone as well.

Removing the Distractions

Walking down the dirt road leading away from my grandfather’s house and up towards the pond my great-grandfather built, I walked quietly. At first I kept my eyes open, looking around and seeing the trees and the clear path in front of me. The compressed gravel road with two small tracks stretched before me, a route I have walked hundreds of times over the years. Then I walked a bit with my head down, intentionally closing myself from some of the outside distractions out in the world keeping me from thinking.
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It’s Okay Not to Work

I feel guilty writing this. There are a million other things I could, and can easily justify should be doing. I just spent 10 minutes looking up a couple of good reference sheets for the markdown language so I could try using it to write this post. If I hadn’t, I might be a paragraph further on by now! Then I could finish this relaxing and get back to work sooner. Except, that isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing today.
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The Journey

DestinationExcuseJourney2As some readers may know, I am taking the next steps on this journey we call life. I’ll be moving on from my role at UConn, where I have been the Director of IT for the School of Business these past four years, and in other roles there for the six before. During that time I have learned so much, had amazing experiences, and become who I am today. For better or for worse. 🙂

The next question is generally, “Where are you going?” or “What are you doing?” The ranges of responses to my answer, which is, “I don’t know!” has been quite interesting. While it may be a slight exaggeration [I have some ideas, and other ideas of what I don’t want to do] and perhaps intentionally flippant, it is essentially true. I have reached a point in this journey of life, career, and self-growth where I have decided it is time for something different. And I am making this decision that it is time to change first because to do it in the other order isn’t truly embracing where I want to go next.

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