I still remember the sweaty, humid summer day in Poughkeepsie, NY. So already I geographically lost 90% of you unless you worked at IBM. It’s a town 80 miles straight up the Hudson River from Manhattan where IBM had a golf course, country club and acres of manufacturing dedicated to its
mainframe computers. However I wasn’t there to play golf or build computers but to attend a Project Management Boot Camp. Appropriately so named for its six-10 hour days on a facility surrounded by high fences, gates and security guards. But then, what does one do with their free time in Poughkeepsie anyway? I digress… back to the humid day. It was lunchtime when I called Ruth from a phone booth (remember those?) and exclaimed to her “I could never live back here with all this humidity”. Four months later we moved to Connecticut, just 40 minutes from the plant site and was worked in New York.
A few short years later, we made a trip to the SF Bay Area to visit family and friends. Sitting next to Ruth on the return flight to NY, I turned and said to her, “ I could never live back in the bay area.” We had new friends and had grown accustomed to the rural setting of 2 acre parcels, acres of lawn to cut and long driveways to shovel clear of snow. The following summer we moved into a 1,500 sq.ft. house on a 50x100 ft. lot back in the Bay Area.
Being the astute and quick learner that I am, shortly after completing the project in the Bay Area I announced, “I could never live in Tahoe”. So now we live in Redding.
I only knew of one more “I’d never” statement lingering in my life. I always admired people who worked for themselves, but I had no desire to take on the 24/7 responsibility. Sure I had long hours at IBM, but when the day was over, it was over. My responsibilities would remain behind the closed door of my home office with rarely a second thought. And now, at an AARP qualifying age, I find myself in partnership with my friend Mark starting a cost reduction consulting practice called
Funny thing is that every one of my “never” statements has resulted in a significant life change and looking back I wouldn’t exchange the experience for what I thought would've been better. And, though I would never want a Boulton fishing boat (20ft Skiff w/
115 Honda) or a Cirrus SR22 airplane, I'm certainly open to the idea that having them would be better than ever imagined.