You may (or may not) have noticed that I have been visibly absent from posting over the past few months. The long and the short of it is that quite a few things have happened in my life which have led me to focus on, well…, my life.
The biggest impact was the loss of my mother to lung cancer back in October. For those of you privileged to know her, she was quite the lady and she kept her wit and humor intact to the very end. For the most part, her passing was relatively quick and heaven truly gained an angel that day. She was a profound influence in my life and I will miss her deeply. I kept this event pretty much to myself, but for those of you who were aware and comforted me during this troubling time, thank you. My mom always kept things to herself (including her health issues); maybe I am more like her than I originally thought.
Not long after her passing I had to travel out of the country for business. My journey took me to the island of New Caledonia – a French territory northeast of Australia. That was roughly a 22 hour trip and during that time, I was able to think about my life, where I currently was, and where I wanted to be.
What I realized during that time is that in many areas of my life I was simply going through the motions. I was reminded of the following quote from Steve Jobs,
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Our time on earth is too short to live without passion but that is exactly what I was doing – and exactly what I promised myself I would never do. I came to the realization that I was settling in way too many areas of my life and it was time for a change.
: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something
They say that you should never make big decisions right after a life changing event, but I have never been one to listen to advice when my heart tells me otherwise. As such, I resigned from my job at Continuum Labs to return to the pursuit of my dreams. Continuum is a great company and I truly believe in their products and services; I just didn’t feel like my contributions were enough to warrant my being there. And those that I was making were not aligned with my passions; it was time for me to reboot my career. I will always be their biggest fan and can only hope that in some small way my tenure has made a positive impact. I will no longer work with my close Continuum friends on a daily basis, but something tells me that we will work together again some day; I look forward to that day. (BTW, if you haven’t had a chance to check out their latest app, CareSync, I HIGHLY recommend it. You will never look at your healthcare the same way again.)
So what am I doing now? My LinkedIn profile says that I am an independent consultant with a company called ForgeRock. What that essentially means is that I am refocusing my career on those areas that make me want to jump out of bed each morning: privacy, identity, trust, and making the Internet a safer place to be. I am continuing to work on the security projects that helped make me Platinum with both Marriott and Delta this year, but I am using my downtime to work on my own security-focused applications and services. While they might not be as sexy as CareSync, I believe there is a definite need for what I am envisioning; but only time will tell. In the meantime, stay tuned.
An unexpected benefit behind all of this is that I am now working at home and am spending more time with my wife and kids. We talk more. I drink morning coffee with my wife, and I am actually there when my kids have a problem. I now see things around the house that need my attention (and what my family has been putting up with as I travel to work each day). Rather than making excuses that I am too tired, I now have the time to fix those things that need fixing. I have the time to make a healthy lunch (or gorge on the box of Oreos if I so desire). I also have time to reboot my exercise life and have the flexibility to take walks with my family as well. Simply put, I have time.
So does this now mean that I will spend this time on blogging, tweeting, and participation in online activities? Maybe. But as with any precious asset, time must be invested properly and spent wisely. With the passing of my mother, I have been reminded that one of the wisest investments you can make is in spending time with others and investing in friendships is never a bad investment.
So who knows where I will devote my time the only thing guaranteed is that it will involve others.
Again, stay tuned.