Now, back at the home ranch, just pondering it all - and realizing that much of what I do is work related. Whether it is visiting a California wine region, like I'm planning to do in May (Santa Ynez - where we will also throw in a little half-marathon while we're there), or helping to host a tasting or seminar (Dry Wine Tour is happening in April, and I'll be at the San Francisco one April 14 and the LA one April 15), much of what I am doing is work related. Maybe that's true with most people. Maybe we are all work animals, and work consumes us.
My recently retired dad pointed this out to me recently - he loves retirement, and says often that he can't believe he lived the life of a working man for so many years of his life, and how time consuming that was. If one wasn't working, one was getting ready to go to work, or recovering from working, or trying to get a solid night's sleep so one could be in his or her best condition to work a solid 8-hour day.
And why not? Work is one of the most fulfilling activities around - it fills our bank accounts (at least long enough for us to write the checks to pay the bills), it fills our emotional needs for praise and accomplishment, and it forces us to be in a social environment that eventually results in us making friends with whom we work. And if you don't work, there is so much pressure from everyone asking you why you don't work, and when you are going to stop this nonsense and start working.
That said, I've been happy for the last 4 or 5 years because I've been in an industry that I like, yes, the wine industry. I like wine. But more so, I like the industry. I like being in the lifestyle or luxury industry. I came from the health care industry. I prefer to deal with restaurants and stores that exist to make people happy. In fact, you might say I have a passion for it.
I'd like to have some passions outside of work too. It used to be running. I still run, but I'm not sure I have a passion for it. I enjoy it. I enjoy being outside in beautiful scenery (running through a wine region is my absolute favorite; I can run through rolling hilly vineyards very well; hence I am looking forward to the Santa Ynez Half Marathon). But is running something I can obsess about? Not so much anymore.
In the future, I'd like to embrace some passions outside of work. I'd like to be with my family more often. I'd like to buy a home. I'd like to have a dog. I'd like to travel to some places I've never been (Italy, Spain, parts of China). And I'd like to write about these places, and of course, take many pictures.
Yes, writing about that feels good.