Driving the North Coast

Avenue of the Giants - North Coast CaliforniaIt’s been a long time since I’ve traveled the California Coast.  I remember the scenic drive along 101 with glimpses of the ocean and long drives through the Redwoods on winding roads.  I remember many trips in my teenage years heading to, or from, family events in Central California.

I am driving the coast again next week but this time it’s a much different trip.  I’ll be looking at Wine Country stops around Napa and Sonoma, scenic stops along the North Coast beaches, places to hike among the Redwoods and relaxing nights in historic Bed and Breakfasts.  This trip is a far cry from the hurried family trips as a teenager.  This will be a slow, romantic road trip to explore the Northwest with a beautiful and adventurous woman.  This will be a great trip.

Celebration of a Hero…

Today, September 12th, is my father’s Birthday.  My dad would be 54 years old today.

My Dad with me in Peru

There was a time in my adult life when it became very important to me as an individual to define who my heroes were and why I admired them.  During this time a list evolved of 3 definitive characters that I had studied, admired and modeled my character after.  My list included Theodore Roosevelt (at least in the years leading up to his presidency of the United States), Thor Heyerdahl (a Norwegian explorer and author and one of the key reasons for my interest in archaeology and anthropology), and my dad.

My father died in a car accident on his way to work early in the morning of January 3rd, 2005.  We had a close friendship and I spent much of my adult life planning, researching and looking forward to our next adventure.  I am incredibly thankful for the time we were able to spend together and for the close friendship we developed.  I don’t know very many people my age who have parents that they can truly consider friends.

I didn’t consider it an important conversation at the time, but a few years before he died I was able to tell my father what he meant to me.  I was able to express how thankful I was for his friendship and that I considered him one of my heroes.  To this day, I try to consider what my dad would do or what advice he would give when facing a tough decision and many times I find that course of thought very helpful.

So, Happy Birthday to my father, my hero….my friend.

Never Forget…

There are events in the history of this country that will forever be remembered.  Some events are remembered and honored for the great loss and pain this country has suffered and some events are celebrated as examples of our strength, pride, honor and compassion.  September 11th is, in my eyes, an event that represents both sides.  The tragic and sudden loss of life at the hands of our enemies has been compared to the attack at Pearl Harbor.  But the amazingly heroic and tireless efforts of the police, medical, search and rescue and other emergency services that were compelled to duty that day are something this country should be proud of.

Above and beyond the professionals called to duty on that day, many average citizens found themselves in position to help, to lead, to save lives.  There were many heroes that day and out of that tragic event this country rediscovered it’s inner strength.  And that is what is important to remember.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….

a sea of trouble...

… it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

It seems that life likes to find balance wherever it can. Just at the time in my life where I am finding the most difficulty professionally, I am finding the greatest joy personally. The economic blow to the construction industry has left my previously successful business foundering in a sea of disappearing jobs, non-paying clients and rising operating costs. I find myself constantly looking for places to cut costs or evaluating priorities of the importance of each individual bill or debt. I never thought that after 12 successful years in business I would find myself living paycheck to paycheck.

While struggling financially and professionally, I have been finding success personally. I am finally at a point where I feel healthy. For the first time in nearly 6 years I don’t have to deal with immobilizing pain. I don’t feel trapped in my own body and can finally start to get back into shape. I’ve lost nearly 40 pounds since January when the pain started going away. I now feel almost as healthy and strong as I did over a decade ago.

I’ve also begun to develop a relationship with someone I deeply care about. She is an amazing source of happiness to me and I look forward to every minute we spend together. She has become what is most important to me.

Dealing with a failing business is difficult. However, things are beginning to look up, work is on the horizon, there will be money again soon. Struggling through this may give me a better outlook on how to manage the business and never take the work for granted. The happiness I have found personally will make the professional struggle seem easier. I’m just hoping to eventually achieve that perfect Life / Work Balance where total happiness is found.

Welcome to my blog…

It’s been quite a while since I’ve managed my personal Blog. I’ve decided that the only sensible thing to do is start over. There’s really no rhyme or reason as to the content of this Blog as yet, but in time a theme should reveal itself and the content will prove to have some purpose….or so I hope.

For now, I will simply use this space as an outlet for work, travel and personal experience. If nothing else, I hope it is entertaining.