This summer, I spent two lovely weeks gazing at the river where it flows into the large expanse of the bay. The view served as a great metaphor. I came here to my NJ hometown to make a decision about what I was going to do with my life. I told my oldest daughter I was going back home to stay in a beautiful house by the river in the town I grew up in. That I was going to pretend that this is how my life turned out, and after the two weeks were over, I was going to kill myself. It was meant to be a joke, but I know these things are not really funny. There’s always some truth in jest, yes? (Don’t worry, I’m not suicidal.)
I knew I was at a crossroads and I needed time to truly process where I was and where I needed to be over this phase of my life. The trip turned out to be a wonderful journey into self-exploration. I connected with old friends and family I had not seen in a very long time. I got off the Internet. I focused on what mattered.
You see, since I returned to work in 2006 after a 5-year sabbatical, I only wanted to spend my working hours devoted to something that had world-changing power. Something that made a difference. What I’ve discovered in 2015 is, in the pursuit of such altruistic goals, I’ve changed the world of those who are most closest to me, and not in a good way. In a bad way, and in a way that is harmful.
I’m taking a pause and reprioritizing. What’s most important to me is the welfare of my family. In retrospect, I realized I threw the babies out with the bathwater when I chose to live frugally and work on social good initiatives. This hit home for me this summer when I realized I might not be able to send my son back to college. What? Time for a pivot.
I’ll be wrapping up a few projects with Big Mountain Data that I’m really proud of, but will be pursuing opportunities to regain some financial stability for my family. I’ve said for a while we’re ahead of time. Waiting for the market to catch up with our vision is not going to matter in the long run.