I had kind of a sad conversation yesterday that i wanted to share with everyone. I recently gave my two-week notice at work (Nope not the sad part, excited about that, and will post about it as soon as I can.)
But being the diligent and responsible cowboy that I am, I am trying to get as much, and as many of my outstanding projects completed before my last day. To that end, I got up at 4 AM yesterday to bee-line down to Portland, OR from North Seattle to meet with the guru of all knowledge for one piece of my project. After meeting with her (went fast and well, got what I needed) I adjourned to some lunch tables to get caught up on emails and start working.
While I was there, my director Bob walked up to me. Now Bob is an OK guy, but I have DREADED talking to the man over the last 8 months or so he was my director. The man would DRONE on and on and ON, without taking a breath. It got so I’d be listening to a conference call with him, and realize I had completely tuned him out, and had no idea what we were talking about.
Two weeks ago Bob informed us all that he was “DONE” with the political BS and would be moving on soon. (Glad I was already interviewing when I heard this.) He gave no details, but it has made work a bit stressful.
So he walked up to talk to me and I cringed inside. This wasn’t a conference call, I HAD to pay attention. Well he sat down, congratulated me about the new job, and then just sighed. He knew I was a cyclist and training for the RAMROD, plus helping two coworkers to get ready for the Seattle-to-Portland, so we started talking about cycling and adventures.
His working has kept him from riding. He was telling me he used to love to go on rides to an ice-cream shoppe 4 towns away, JUST because he could. There were plenty of ice cream places that he passed getting there, but he enjoyed the trip getting to this one. “It’s fun riding to a destination, not just exercising but going somewhere” “I keep trying to talk my wife into biking somewhere then spending the night, then biking again the next day JUST to see what there is to see.”
We compared our trips to the Oregon Coast, the tide pools, places to explore and little towns to stay in. He told me he wanted to go sea kayaking again, but again to get somewhere and see new things. We even talked clothing (ok girls, yes it can happen, we both like Mountain Hardware!)
We talked for a half hour. And you know something, I found out I like the guy! I honestly think I would enjoy spending a day or two riding with him!
He was wistfully telling me how he had biked across America (Something I always wanted to do!) and that some friends had invited him to come along on a trip from Utah to the Grand Canyon on Mountain Bikes. He didn’t think he would go. again with a sigh.
He then got up and said he had to go to a meeting, shook my hand and left.
It started me thinking. I work my ass off at work. But I work so I can earn the money to do the things I like. My wife and I are going to Walla Walla for wine tasting. Why, because we want to and deserve it. I am planning on riding the RAMROD, and my job pays me enough for the bike, the entry fee and anything else I need.
I work to live NOT live to work. It’s a cliché, I know, but that’s what made me sad. I am pretty sure Bob is the opposite. He and his wife live to work. I got the impression that a once fun loving, adventure seeking outdoorsman, ended up being beaten down and became a corporate minnion.
He has told us that he plans to take time after he leaves to enjoy life again. I hope he does. Life is too short for bad wine, flat beer, bad tasting food and to be trapped on the business treadmill.
Bob, (or anyone reading this like Bob) bust your ass at work, but dammit, schedule time to do what you like, paint, write, blog, dance, hike or whatever turns your crank. You and your loved ones are MUCH more important than what you do 8 hours (Or more?) a day.
Ride like the wind Bob! And let me know if you need a riding partner!