One of the great things about career transition is it can create an otherwise rare opportunity to step out of the grind for an extended period and focus on other important things. In my case, it enabled me to share important experiences with my two kids and other family over the past summer. Following are some highlights.
First, the kids, my dad and I went sailing for much of August. We left from New York and cruised around Sounthern New England, including Jamestown, Newport, Sag Harbor, Block Island, Cuttyhunk, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and more. There was lots of sailing, swimming, fishing, home cooking, exploring and visiting friends. We caught many baby bluefish, crabs, sea robins and a fluke. We saw seals, which were reportedly attracting lots of great white sharks (which we didn’t see). The kids managed to invest two hours per day in their summer math and reading exercises. I devoured a backlist of saved articles and books and did some writing on this site.
Our sailing trip was followed by a 10-day, 2,600-mile road trip with the kids to a cabin at Hiawassee Lake in Appalachia and the Smoky Mountains, for my cousin’s wedding and a family reunion. It is impressive country, and I’d recommend it to anyone (and yes — signal the banjo — it is near where the movie Deliverance took place). We then headed to Southern Mississippi to visit my 94-year-old grandmother. In addition to a beautiful wedding and quality family time, the kids went horseback riding for the first time.
While I was away from home most of the summer, I had family and neighbors tend to my garden. They enjoyed the harvests while I was away, and I enjoyed them every time I returned. Nobody else craves hot peppers like I do, which means we accumulated hundreds of them — so I made a few gallons of hot sauce.
In many ways it would’ve been easier to remain entirely in (or jump right back in) the grind during my recent career transition. But stepping out afforded me three things:
- A chance to decompress, recharge and reflect. (My sleeping patterns have improved and my back aches have gone away.)
- Time and focus to carefully evaluate priorities and next moves.
- Quality time with loved ones and individual interests.
I’m now back in Pelham, and the kids are back to school. What’s my next career move, you ask?