Long ago I lived a life which had far too much emphasis on what my company wanted me to do. I worked too hard for them, and in the end all my talent and effort certainly did not matter. I am fortunate to have escaped to the little piece of paradise that stretches south and west of Ocracoke Island.
The lesson that I learned is one that many in America need to take to heart. We should all strive to do our jobs well and to the best of our ability. However, we should not allow the companies where we work to own our lives.
In the over seven years that I have been on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks I have grown to understand that I wasted many weekends trying to please a company that could not be pleased. I can recall none of those weekends. None of the great presentations that I labored over will ever be as memorable as the recent Saturday morning when I stood in the surf and marveled at the blue skies and felt the warm ocean waters washing around my legs. Even that does not compare to the kayaking trip where I caught a magnificient red drum.
Today I am away from the traditional corporate world. The company where I work actually trusts me and because of that I actually work with even more passion. I want our company to be successful and will work hard to make that happen but not at the expense of the life that I have rescued from corporate America. We have a limited number of days on this planet and how we use them is up to us. While I plan to work for a long time, I will never again let my personal time be consumed by my job. It is not worth it.
October 17, 2013, was a busy and productive day for me at work, but by 5:30 PM, I was in my car headed to the beach. Before 6 PM I was standing the surf pictured in this post. While I was holding a rod and doing a little fishing, mostly I was enjoying one of the most beautiful places in the world. The chance to relax and do something that I love almost never presented itself in my earlier careers. It was all about work and so much of it was busy work that did not matter then and certainly does not matter now.
Eventually if you give everything to your company, you have nothing left for yourself. When you take time for yourself and let your batteries recharge, you are even better at your desk the next day.
I am lucky to work for a company that gives me some flexibility in my schedule. I am even luckier to be working from a place that can heal your spirit if you just give it a chance.
Careful consideration and conscious decisions brought us to this place where it is possible to live very close to nature and still lead a productive life. Just the opportunity to be in a place where it is easy to live a life without walls makes a huge difference.
Being close to the waters of the Crystal Coast makes me feel like I have finally come home. The journey that brought us here was not a particularly easy one but the rewards of living a more meaningful life in an area of unequalled natural beauty have been worth the effort.
Some folks live to work. I live for the water. It can be the White Oak river from a kayak, Raymond's Gut as seen during my morning walk, the calm waters that I sometimes enjoy on a morning boat ride, or the surf over by the beach. Which water it is matters little to me. I love it all and it all makes my life here very special. It is just icing on the cake that my wife also takes great pleasure from living here by the water.
The waters along North Carolina's coast are a true blessing and a national treasure. I feeled doubly blessed in that they have become such an important part of our lives and we get to wake up to them every morning.
This link is to a post with some of the lessons that I have learned living by North Carolina's beautiful coastal water.