A few years ago, while trying to effect changes at Sun Microsystems, I thought to myslf that there had to be more to life than endless meetings and glacial progress on programs of doubtful longevity.
It would have been fitting if a voice from the heavens said, “Take your family and flee this place, for it is cursed!” But, nothing so mystical occurred. I had to go through this same scenario many more times before the decision to leave high tech showbiz finally percolated into my consciousness.
I began a search for other opportunities, but failed to find any that matched my expectations. I began writing a novel, but kept on with my day job which provided the satisfaction that goes with herding cats and training water to run uphill.
The novel was going well and I could almost envision a life as a writer if I could solve the problems of finding an editor, an agent and a publisher, etc. The increasing agony of the day job was mercifully cut short when someone finally looked at the bottom line and decided that the way to profitability was to reduce the workforce.
Since Silicon Valley employment was following the example of the Titanic, we decided to live where skies were blue and where we couldn’t hear the freeway system. After searching the internet, we decided on Charlottesville, Virginia, where we could enjoy country life and the advantages of a university town.
Lake Monticello, near Thomas Jefferson’s mansion of the same name, offered wooded privacy and high speed internet access. We felt this was the best of both worlds and immediately bought a house. We moved here more than a year ago and have never regretted it. Living here required major changes in my career choices, but these changes have brought new opportunities and interesting challenges for the future.
When I grill steaks for supper and watch a herd of deer feeding down by the stream, I can barely remember my past existence at Sun or before. My attention is entirely in the present and future. Life is good. I will do whatever it takes to keep it that way.