September 2012 – Shuffling…



I would describe my weeks since returning from my hike (was that really 7 weeks ago!?!) as weeks filled with lots of shuffle.  My oldest son just embarked on his 2nd decade.  Can you believe we have a 10 year old?  He’s an extraordinary 10 year old.  Outside of having his Dad’s stress, he’s got so so much going for him.  I couldn’t be prouder of the boy he is.  Cindy pulled together a great theme:  “Minute to Win It” where the kids did wacky competitions for prizes.  It was really fun and pretty cool to see how well they did at these after Cindy and I thought they wouldn’t be able to get any of them done.  Kids don’t know quit and rarely let difficulty become an obstacle.  We were also amazed that we allowed 8 9-year olds sleep over last year as 5 10-year olds nearly made us flee (disclaimer to parents of these 5 10 year olds or DSS:  of course we would never, ever do this.).  The best reminder of your age is when your kids have a sleep over.

More shuffle…this time at work.  I’ve been with my employer for over 6 years now and never in this time have I see so much voluntary turnover.  It might have something to do with watching the amount of involuntary turnover occur around the place.  Yes we are publicly downsizing.  Yes we are clawing out of what is likely the most tumultuous time the company has ever seen.  Yes, like most other very large companies we have our share of issues, inefficiencies, regulation, etc.  But this period of time has been prolonged.  Maybe half of the 6 years or more have been like this but the one thing that differentiates today from any time during the rest of these 6 years is the rate at which good friends are leaving.  Do you look at every departure as one more person taking control or knowing something more than the rest?  Or do you look at it as one less potential employee competitor?  What impact culturally do these departures have on those remaining?  Bright side:  invariably it seems great for them and can’t hurt my external network either.  This shuffle likely isn’t over but neither is my loyalty.  I am trying to influence more fun into the environment – there’s not a ton of that going around corporate America these days…

Our family continues to shuffle constantly.  Not in the way of in and out but more like swirling, constantly moving.  The kids are busier than ever.  What I notice is my oldest kid’s social lives have ratcheted up more than in the past.  Several times in the past month I have looked for one of the olders to go hit golf balls or go on a bike ride only to find they are out with their friends.  I have a sneaking suspicion this gets worse before it gets better.  Will I have to start setting up “dates” with them too?  Do we need to start calendaring time?  Don’t get me wrong, I like that they have friends…just was hoping every once and a while to be one of them.  I have taken control a bit – this weekend Will and I are meeting Dad (Poppy) in the mountains for Will’s first overnight hike.  Actually a double-overnight hike.  13 miles total.  Should be a good test for Will and me.  I hope he loves it – I’d take liking it with the potential to grow into loving it…

Since my extended hike in the Sierra’s in late August I can’t seem to settle my mind to the state that it was in during my hike.  While I had lots of time to think, walk and think some more on the hike, it was thinking with clarity.  Since being back my head is filled.  Cheese-making.  Bee-raising.  Home wi-fi extending.  Front porch flower box making.  Work.  Family.  Cross-training for healthier running.  Developing greater positivity.  Gratitude.  Giving back more than I take.  I’m starting to think I might be an idea person.  I love the idea.  I love obsessing over an idea.  I love thinking of other ideas.  With the execution of the idea…that’s where I need a push.  Or a partner.  Or both.

Interesting other notes…fall in Fort Mill is spectacular.  Every maple on our street as far as you can see if fire red/orange.  Shutterfly is moving their East Coast HQ to Fort Mill and adding a call center.  I’m on week 6 of doing P90X Plyometrics and Ab videos – I actually feel stronger.  Stewart’s presenting stuff in her 2nd grade class – so fun to watch (see pic below).  Adventure Guides has started back up – 60+ dads; 120 total registered.  20% growth from last year.  Pretty neat to see Dads and kids camping together.  I’m starting to consider a few running events after taking July, August, September largely off from races with calf issues.  Might run the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte as an expensive training marathon and then build up to run the 1st annual 50k race in the ASC Greenway.

That’s enough for now. Enjoy some pictures below…

Click here for a slideshow of Will’s 10th Birthday!

Click here for random life from September 2012


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