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September 29, 2006

Downsizing

This is one of those posts where I want to be very descriptive, without actually revealing too much information about people around me. So I’ll try to be careful here.

When I started this blog last October, I was as settled in my career as a guy could get. I had been working in my position for 10 years, with a kinda-sorta-pretty-much positive assurance of eventual promotion to a director position just by hanging around the department and continuing to do what I did.

Professionally, I was on cruise control. I was very well-skilled with my work, and didn’t dedicate any extra time to the job outside of work hours. That’s when Running and Rambling was born.

At the beginning of 2007, a different opportunity presented itself: a position with the same company, in an administrative role, but quite unrelated to the job I was comfortable with. It would require a greater time commitment and on-the-job training to learn new information and the politics of our business. Essentially, I would be starting a new career almost from scratch, and I was uncertain if the bridge to my old profession would be left standing once I crossed it. Needless to say, I was bit nervous about the decision.

However, the long-term potential for career growth and autonomy (and pay – definitely a consideration) was much greater than I had in my comfortable job. It was also a chance to work with people whom I liked and respected, which was a huge factor in my deliberations.

I took the new position, and everything worked out very well: I settled into my new role fairly quickly, and established a satisfactory balance between work, training, and family time. I even had time to maintain my blog.

Very soon my role with the company will develop further, as I’m taking on more responsibilities, and being promoted to an expanded role for the second time in less than 12 months. (Apparently, someone around here thinks I’m doing good work. Which sometimes surprises me, given that my job has nothing to do with running, writing, or watching music videos - things I consider to be my better talents.)

I’m going to be traveling a lot, learning a whole new set of administrative duties, and participating in a two-year fellowship program that will demand some independent study time. I won’t have nearly as much unstructured time as I currently enjoy.

And by now you probably know where this post is heading.

I need to re-prioritize the places where I direct my time and energy, and eliminate some of the things that distract me from that focus. One of the primary casualties of this reshuffling is my blog.

If you’re sad to read this – believe me, I’m sadder to write it. But I don’t need to blog. I need my career to earn money. I need family time to keep me happy. I need training time to keep me sane. And regardless of how much I enjoy it, blogging clearly doesn’t belong in the same category as those other things.

So this will most likely be the last post in this space for the foreseeable future. Possibly forever. It’s not that I’ve run out of things to say. I’ll just be lacking the time and attention I need to voice my observations and musings in the style I’m accustomed to.

Maybe at some point down the road you’ll hear from me again in one capacity or another. Obviously, I love writing, so I'll certainly gravitate back towards it. I'm thinking of trying my hand at different topics or formats, although those ideas are still very primordial. Who knows what the future has in store.

I’m going to keep my Bloglines subscriptions going, and I'll browse some blogs when I'm able to, and maybe even drop an anonymous comment here and there if the spirit moves me (don’t worry, I’ll identify myself). I'm also keeping my contact e-mail address open if anyone feels the need to stay in touch - for example, I'm more than happy to offer free advice for anyone coming out to run the Bug Sur Marathon next April. So you always know where to find me.

But writing this, I have the same kind of feeling as a high school kid saying goodbye to his longtime girlfriend before going off to college. Sure, there’s a chance that we could ultimately have a long-term relationship - but in the back of my mind, I know the odds aren’t great. It's sad in a way, but if we each move on to something more fulfilling, then it's the best decision in the long run.

Don't feel bad for me, because I'm really excited about the things that I'm doing. And if you've learned only one thing from this blog (um ... besides the fact that I'm an idiot), it's that I'll figure out a way to carve out enough family time and training hours to keep myself happy. It will just take some time.

Finally, it would be bad form to bail out of here without thanking everyone who shared this space with me over the past year. To everyone who left a comment, sent me e-mails, or linked to my posts from your own sites: thank you very much. Each contact was greatly appreciated. I’ve found joy and felt appreciation from a number of talented, passionate people in this medium, and I feel a connection of some sort to each one of you who put your stories and lives out there for all of cyberspace to see.

So thanks again for spending the past year with me. It’s been a lot of fun. I wish all of you health and happiness in the days to come.

26 comments:

stronger 9/29/06, 11:37 AM  

So you're breaking up with us? It's a sad, sad day in the blogsphere but I'm happy for your advancement. You have offered such an intriguing perspective about ordinary things. Thanks for all of your support on my blog and in yours.

Good luck to you- you are an outstanding person. I know you won't disappear but you'll be missed.

DREW 9/29/06, 11:37 AM  

Donald,
There are very few good writers who also happen to be good runners creating meaningful, interesting content out there. Let me be the first, but certainly not the last, to say we'll miss you. I very much hope to be able to shake your hand on April 29th at BSIM. I'll temporarily push aside my selfish dissapointment long enough to congratulate you on having your priorities straight. Hope you'll find time to drop back into this world from time to time, and thanks for all the time and effort you've put into your excellent blog!

DREW 9/29/06, 11:39 AM  

Darn, stronger beat me to #1. I'll never win anything!

rick 9/29/06, 12:24 PM  

Congratulations on the career department. Well blogs definitely have their own lifespans like everything else, like a great sitcom or a good football team (still waiting on the Niner's to break .500) You'll be missed. Good luck if you do decide to enter the WS lottery.

Cliff 9/29/06, 1:16 PM  

This ain't happening..this ain't happening..

i so want to say 'you will come back..they always come back'..

but yes...family is important. Hey you do what you gotta do :0

Will miss your writing style...

Since your blog is on my blogline, whenever u update..i will be here :)

backofpack 9/29/06, 1:48 PM  

Donald,
I'll definitely miss reading your posts - they were a highlight of the blogging experience. You've been kind of easing us into this all summer, posting less and less...thanks for going easy on us!

I totally understand the juggling of life's priorities - and one of the only reason I can still do this occasionally is that my boys are mostly grown. If they were still young, it wouldn't be happening.
Will you still be writing for the Herald? If so, I'll try to look up your articles now and then. I'll look forward to the day when there is a regular spot to read your musings again - in blog, magazine, newspaper or maybe even book form!

Congratulations on your promotion! And good luck in the new position, and in all your athletic challenges to come.

Deene 9/29/06, 1:52 PM  

but, but..you can't breakup with us!

olga 9/29/06, 2:55 PM  

Aww..I am sure lots of people will say lots of good stuff, sign my name under:)
Have great life developing!

Annette 9/29/06, 6:05 PM  

Wow! It's strangely sad to say goodbye to a fellow blogger. I've enjoyed reading your posts, and I have to admit, I've paid a lot of attention to how you write, as one of my many future career ideas includes writing.

Good luck with your new endeavor. I hope the transition goes smoothly and that you will be happy with your new job. Enjoy the ride! :)

Darrell 9/29/06, 11:51 PM  

Well dang it all anyway. This is like loosing a good employee at work. You're both happy and sad.

I've certainly enjoyed getting to know you through this little medium. You'll be missed. All the best.

Downhillnut 9/30/06, 2:49 AM  

Aw. Gonna miss you. You always have such cool comparisons between life and running.

Hey, if a post just bursts forth from your new schedule just once in a while that would be okay with me.

All the best in your new responsibilities, and if your travels ever take you to Calgary, drop me a line!

susie 9/30/06, 5:39 AM  

Does this mean we can't read your writing in the paper either? Good luck as you travel down the new path. Stay in touch if you can....

angie's pink fuzzy 9/30/06, 8:02 AM  

Donald, no! Say it ain't so!

I'll miss your insights and humor. I'm happy to hear about your promotion, and of course your family and training comes first. Here's hoping you'll still have time in the future to write and share.

Sarah 9/30/06, 9:42 AM  

Congratulations on your promotion and the new developments in your professional life! So sorry to see you go. I've enjoyed your posts a lot! : )

Jon in Michigan 10/1/06, 4:01 AM  

Wow. Congrats on the new job but major bummer about dropping the blog. I suppose you have to prioritize. Families don't understand when you lose your job so you can keep blogging. :D

Good luck in your travels. We will miss you here.

Sue 10/1/06, 11:09 AM  

Hi and Bye - I was a latecomer to your blog and now you're off - was it something I said?!

Shall miss your musings... but understand your priorities lie in different quarters.

Good luck for the future - whatever it holds!

Robb 10/2/06, 12:07 AM  

This is just another great adventure for you and I wish you the absolute best Donald!

I'm a little disappointed that you failed to work 'boobs' into your final post. Oh well.

Carry on.

Thomas 10/2/06, 5:00 AM  

Ah, shugs. I really liked your blog. Who's going to keep me up to date on hot female "singers" from now on?

Paul 10/2/06, 8:07 AM  

Best of luck to you.

IM Able 10/2/06, 1:55 PM  

You will certainly be missed, but clearly an excellent decision. Good luck with your ventures and adventures!

Tailwinds,

Able

craig 10/3/06, 12:45 AM  

Donald, you posted some of the best reads out there every week and I'll miss coming by here and the laughs you invariably evoked. But I am happy for you and wish you the best. And I'm glad that you had the decency to break up with us face to face instead of through something tacky like an e-mail. We'll always have the archives.

Fe-lady 10/3/06, 8:21 AM  

A few lines telling us what you are up to will suffice! I find that I use up alot of time tho reading other's blogs and commenting to them- posting on my own site takes less!
Best of luck in the new position!

Running from my House 10/3/06, 3:57 PM  

don't lie to me. You're getting married to beyonce or shakira, and just don't want all the hype. whatever man.

seriously, i'll miss the great posts, and excellent word choices... Best of luck, congrats, and don't stay away too long!

jeanne 10/4/06, 8:38 AM  

good luck! sounds like an awesome opportunity. I don't know where i'm gonna learn what's hip from now on.
:(

Mike 10/5/06, 11:36 PM  

Congrats and the best of luck Donald! Your posts definitely put a smile on my face..I'll miss that. Take care

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