Image: Jenny Bristol

The Last Sunset

Image: Jenny Bristol

Image: Jenny Bristol

The picture above was taken by Jenny last night. It’s important because it spawned the message of the day.

Take control of your life.

I don’t care if you Carpe Diem, or #YOLO. The world is not about treading water, it’s about growing. If the path you are on isn’t where you want to be, grab a compass, a map, and your courage, and do something different.

I’m pretty cautious these days. I have a wonderful wife, and two beautiful children. Right now, my number one priority is them. They are what life means to me, and I’m missing it. I missed seeing this beautiful sunset last night, because someone else wrote my schedule, and I couldn’t spend the sunset sitting with my wife. That sunset is the last I miss because of someone else’s limited schedule.

Starting today, my work dynamic has changed. My schedule is more mine, and less flexible for the sake of accommodating others’ needs to party on a Saturday night. This change will mean more money, more family time, and more risk. I will have to pursue clients more aggressively. I will have to turn work around faster than before. I will have to get up earlier, check my email before having breakfast, and check my email right before bed, just in case. Most of these habits are already there, but I can improve, so I am taking the steps to make that happen.

I’m taking control of my own life.

I know this is a bit vague, and I’m sorry. To protect my clients, my friends, and (very importantly) my family from harassment related to my work, I don’t talk about my work much on the Internet. For now, that has to be good enough. If you have a pressing need to know about my work life, feel free to call me. If you don’t have my direct number, then you don’t have a pressing need.

I just need you to know that there is a big shift. It can be great, but it might suck a little, too. I hate starting new phases of things when I’m depressed, because I feel like I can’t do anything. But it’s better to head into this depressed, but still confident, than it is to head into it manic and 1000% sure that nothing is going to go wrong.

Yesterday I said goodbye to a couple of awesome clients. I had to tell a few of my contemporaries that we wouldn’t work together after our current projects are done. It was hard. I felt like I might be letting everyone down. The anxiety was nearly crippling, and I was afraid to talk about it. But I had already committed. My job yesterday involved tying up loose ends, and expediting some projects so they could be finished.

Through it all, every person cheered me on. I’m not burning bridges or closing doors. Everyone I talked to could see how the changes will make me better at my job, and let me spend more time with my family. Everyone understood. That was my beautiful sunset. My consolation prize was the validation I got from my clients, contemporaries, and friends. I’m in for a great ride, and there are a lot of supporters standing in line to go on it with me.

Thank you. My readers are a reward for this work. I do this for me, but it touches my heart every time someone likes, shares, tweets, or pins my stuff. Keep it up, it’s like giving me a high-five, and it feels good. Tonight, check out your own sunset, I’ll bet it’s a great one.

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