I grew up in a small town in western New Hampshire, with just a blinking stop light, one store, and not even a school within its borders. Growing up, all I really knew was the small circle of towns that surrounded where I lived. It was a simple life, no excitement, and no chance of progress. Everyone I knew wanted to leave this town.
Then I laid my eyes on the Internet when my father went back to college in the early 90s. Combined with my mother bringing a Mac LC II home thanks to being one of the early PC Connection employees. It completely opened a new world and brought me on a long journey that resulted in me working for one of the most critical Internet infrastructure companies in the world. This has made me who I am today.
My family eventually moved away from the town I grew up in, just down the road to the town I went to high school in. A town that has deep family roots for over a hundred years. A town that just seems perfect and fitting of small town New England, with a perfect lake, a mountain that watches over you, and history around every corner. A town where my family and friends are always there for me.
Whenever I visit my hometown of Sunapee, life slows down and I am reminded that someday, I will live here again.
Today I head into Boston to depart on a business trip to San Francisco, I can’t help but wish I could spend even a few hours walking around my favorite city on Earth and marvel at what someone attempted to take away from us.
There is just something about Boston that pulls on every New England’ers string, a melting pot of so many different cultures meshed together with what makes America great: a steadfast resolution to never give up, even when the going gets tough and the odds are stacked against you.
My wife and I hadn’t taken a vacation together in almost two years. Sure we had taken “time off” during this time period, but none of those for vacation reasons and never both of us officially enjoying that time together for an extended period of time. It’s been a year and a half of unbelievable highs and the lowest of lows.
In the past year we have experienced the death of my aunt and a few months later, my grandfather. The lead up two their deaths bringing unbelievable stress as two people I loved dearly had their health deteriorate before my eyes. My mother-in-law had one hell of a health scare, including us receiving a horrible update while flying down to see her (good news is she has fully recovered in the past year).
It wasn’t all bad news though, but even the good came with stress and huge time commitments. We sold our condo, found & moved into a new house in an intense 45 day period that even had us literally driving to our closing not sure if it would actually happen (it did, barely). My career and employer absolutely took off beyond my wildest dreams, causing many long hours and intense concentration on my part as I elevated me and my team’s game. I’ve traveled eight times this year for work (twice to England), even nice with my wife despite me working the whole time.
Point is, I’ve been running on empty for quite awhile, both emotionally and physically. Without realizing it. And it has taken a true vacation, with no commitments (other than family with a perfectly timed and much anticipated Christmas) to finally realize it.
With just under a week left in my 10 day vacation, I’m enjoying every second of it by taking pride in the little things I can do at the pace I want to do them at. Simply put, I’m letting my brain unwind and regenerate the energy I need for 2013 to be successful. My wife and I have spent some much needed time with just the two of us without a commitment in the world. It’s probably the last time we will be able to say that, so we are enjoying it while we can.
What I hope 2013 will be is…normal. No moves, reasonable among of travel, stability personally and professionally….
…and God willing, no deaths.
I’ve been lucky enough to be on this earth for thirty years. It’s been a learning process and I’ve still got much to work on, but I think it has turned out rather OK.
Here is to another thirty (and hopefully many more)!
Hard work pays off, but no time to rest.