Grooves, Like Fresh Ski Tracks (…or Sweet Dance Moves)

I think I (almost) re-found my groove this week, and suddenly it’s almost Friday (cue in some Rebecca Black off-key singing and dancing), which is brill, because the next few days will be filled with some SF-friend ski-love and then a redeye back across the continent to put my feet back on Southern Ground.

(Never mind that the snow is rapidly washing away with torrential downpour, so ski-times might be iffy, and South Carolina’s chosen Monday morning as the exact moment it wants to do ‘winter’, after being 75˚-plus since September.)

Anyway, grooves.

Grooves: like this icy puddle-filled ones.

I got my run-groove back, after a bit of an off-week mentally and physically, by actually getting my butt out of bed right after the sun rose and trotting (…quickly trotting) down to the valley, and ate nine miles of crisp, mountain air for breakfast. And it hurt, and I stepped in ice puddles, and it was awesome. It’s continued, and I’ve been gliding around the lake and up and down hills in gale force winds and torrential rain for the rest of the week, which is good for my brain but also good because training has got to officially begin.

Donner Lake trails.

I got my work-groove back (…ish), as we somehow, after almost a full year of being severely under-staffed, hired a handful of people who started in the past few weeks. (Un)fortunately, that means I’ve been onboarding, which is fun, but has also involved a lot of pairing, which is a slight break from my quiet code-most-of-the-day norm. However, after a few months where I have pulled in too many directions, I will do whatever totally complaint-free to not have to repeat October and November’s workload.

SO much wind this week.

MORE importantly, I really got my work-groove back and finally tested out my whole plan of ‘work from mountain’ and hit the slopes for the first chair, skied for an hour or so, called into standup in my helmet and goggles (…I perhaps need to stop five minutes sooner next time), worked in the lodge till after lunch, skied for another hour, and then headed home to finish the day.

10/10 will be doing that more often. No one skis first thing mid-week, and I will be more than happy if I even get an hour a few mornings to be the only one making fresh tracks.

I got my social-groove back and spent the remainder of ‘work from mountain’ evening sitting at the bar at the cosy pub-like bistro where Alex now works, and I will probably be parking myself in a booth there with my laptop in the afternoons all winter.

This photo does not convey the amount of rain coming down.

I’ve met a lot of people over the past few weeks both in San Francisco and up here, which means I’ve been getting the obvious ‘how/why are you here?’ questions, and every time I give the short answer, it seems more and more crazy (and more and more satisfying) that this is actually my current life.

I’m not entirely sure how this worked out. I remember sitting on a couch in February last year and saying, totally out of the blue, in this wishful thinking sort of way, that in my dream world, I’d take myself off somewhere into the mountains or by a beach where I could sit on a porch with my computer and a cup of coffee and work outside, and that would be enough. That’s not really a new thought I had then; I’ve had that wishful thinking plan in some variation for years. The idea of it was probably what kept me sticking with the software side rather than the full business side, but it’s always been subconscious. I didn’t force it, because it wasn’t really the kind of thing I could figure out how to force.

Backyard dog walk 4:30pm sunset.

I was, however, absolutely was not planning to leave SF and move up here for most of last year. It happened like that couch moment – a totally out of the blue thought that I said out loud sometime in the middle of the summer, and suddenly it went from being wishful thinking to ‘wait a second, I could actually do that, it’s not that crazy.’ And it wasn’t. I spent a few months weighing my options and quietly doing reconnaissance. I priced it out. I calculated how much I could save. I asked at work. I worked from home more often to test it out. I spent a lot of time by myself to make sure I could handle it. I started to explore farther afield. I put myself in random groups of people in new places and asked real questions about who they were and why they lived there and what they did. And when enough was lined up, I pulled the trigger and just did it, because I knew there was a way to make some sort of lemonade out of the truckload of lemons I was currently sitting in.

I did okay.


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