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  • It's been almost a full year since I quit my job. It's been almost 5 months since my daughter was born. I find myself reflecting on my life over the past year, how different things are today than they were a year ago. I was sitting outside yesterday on a beautiful day having lunch and talking about how happy I am right now.

    It's true, quitting my job was the best thing I could've done. It's given me time to pursue things that I care about, like Cowbird, and to spend time with my daughter as she changes dramatically from day to day. It eliminated the primary source of stress in my life, a job that I was not passionate about and that was very demanding without providing anything of value to the world at large.

    There's no doubt there are now different sources of stress in my life. My daughter is learning to sleep, but progress is slow. Departing the traditional 9-5 (or 8-6) lifestyle is foreign, and for a while the idea of financially supporting my family was a little nerve-racking. Questioning what you've done is also natural, wondering if you should have stuck it out just a little longer to make a lot more money. I know though, that there's no end to that cycle - you just keep sticking it out a little longer, and then find life has passed you by. In any case, my overall stress level is down dramatically, though it certainly has not disappeared.

    I was driving my mom to the airport yesterday, and talking to her about these things. She didn't quite understand when I quit my job last year without another one to jump into, and thought it was too risky. But she's been following her passion her entire life, so she couldn't quite understand where I was coming from. She has of course been amazing and supportive the entire time.

    Her passion is helping disadvantaged children in inner cities, and she's built an amazing organization of hundreds of people that work all over the country. However, she is also a micro-manager who is unable to step back and rise above the daily stresses of running a large, complex organization that is trying to do impossible work without sufficient resources (or even reasonable resources). Her health and quality of life are suffering for her passion. I told her that I thought she needed some Eastern Philosophy in her life and recommended that she start with the Tao Te Ching. The chances of that having an impact are, of course, de minimus. So what is the answer? Is it possible? Are people like her so successful because they're so driven and passionate. Is there a middle ground? I've got more questions than answers unfortunately, like most philosophical quandries in life. All I know is that she can't help herself - she loves what she does so much. At the same time, she's running herself ragged and unable to find a work-life balance that has eluded her for her entire life. I want her, and need to help her, find that balance, because she's got a lot of life ahead of her, and a Granddaughter that brings her so much joy.
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