Where in the world is Mike?

Hobbies ,Ruminations ,Travel
June 12, 2016


One of us gets excited for early morning travel… as long as there’s Starbucks.

Well I’m in San Francisco, obviously.   Or perhaps not so obviously?  We travel around a lot so it can be hard to say where we are on any given Sunday.  Today though?  I’m sitting at my desk, Cat firmly ensconced in my lap with a stunning view of our high rise neighborhood behind my balcony garden.  The dogs are snoozing on the couch, there’s music playing on the stereo, and coffee maker is squawking as it brews.  It’s so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have and what we haven’t done that it’s easy to forget what we DO have. I’m trying to be more mindful of that.

My desk view.

Not the best picture of the garden- I should straighten up more.

Perhaps a better way to ask that question is where am I in my life.  Right this very minute, I’m writing this post waiting to go to brunch; it is Sunday after all.  Lately I’ve been burning the candle at every end, and we’ve been struggling to find balance in our lives ever since last April.I won’t sugar coat it; it’s been one of the hardest years of my life.  We’ve had multiple health problems with the pets, our wedding, having to move right at Christmas, and multiple deaths in both our families.  Throughout it all there’s been tears of joy, tears of sadness, and tears of anger and we’re closer than ever.     On top of our personal lives, there’s work too.   One of the drawbacks of working for a startup is that the work pace isn’t steady or predictable.  You could have skyrocketing growth and success meaning you work hard and long to keep up with it.  You could have flat or stagnant growth meaning you work harder trying to find that “switch” to flip and make it skyrocket.   You could even have declining success which means you..uh.. work harder.. to turn it around.   OK so maybe the work pace is predictable.  You’ll work long hours, you’ll push yourself to your mental and physical limits.  You’ll drink coffee and booze in near equal measure and you’ll forever  struggle to find balance.

Finding my own personal balance has been a trial and Paul is a good sport as I try different things to find my own personal balance.   A wiser man than me would point out that achieving balance is less important than seeking it.. good thing that’s not me.

I garden.. but not vegetables or flowers.  I typically have succulents, cacti, aloes, and agaves as they need the least amount of effort and are some of the funniest/weirdest looking plants around.  Give them sunlight and a little water and you’re pretty much good to go.  I know these look like flowers, but it’s the actual leaves of the plants.

Variety of colors and shapes

Weird and wacky varieties!

I take a lot of pictures.. but that’s really two hobbies in 1 as there’s the actual act of taking the picture and developing them too.

I write here..  it’s a good outlet and helps me to organize my thoughts and practice writing on a topic.

Sometimes I play video games.. but it’s rare.

I exercise.. though never enough amiright?

I hack around in my home compute lab.. I need to do this more. I have a lot of cool tech projects I want to do like learning python.

I read a lot.. books, comics, almost anything I can get my hands on.

And of course spend time with my family.. Paul, the pets, traveling, playing, hiking etc..

For me having a variety of ways to de-stress and unwind has been key.  Paul and I will often go hiking or travel somewhere nearby for a getaway though those can get pricey quickly.   Often after a hard week (or month) I can’t take being around people and need some solo downtime, so nothing beats gardening or reading on the couch while various pets take turns piling on me.

The cat claimed his territory…this time.

So where am I right now? A little crispy around the edges and hoping the major life upheavals have slowed for us just a little bit.  My giant projects at work are wrapping up so I can slow my pace and take more time for myself.   We’ll see how successful I am at slowing down.

Also published on Medium.