My “What’s Next” list – v1.0

April 9th, 2016

I left my job yesterday. My terrific colleagues threw me a party with thoughtful parting gifts, including: a box of blue Peeps; a microwaveable bowl of soup; and a plastic shovel.

The shovel, I assume, is for breaking ground on whatever’s next in my life. Or, it could be for digging myself out of a huge hole down the road. Either option is appropriate because, as of today, I’m deliberately without a job.

I’ve had many jobs in my life, including:

  • Paperboy (I was a pretty good one);
  • Bartender (I was awful);
  • Travel writer (got the scoop on skiing the Italian Alps from the seat of one’s pants);
  • Product manager at a start-up company (exactly how it sounds);
  • And, most recently, digital media guy (dotcom 4life, yo!)

(Side note: I’m writing this while sitting in a coffee shop. The server just called out someone’s order: “Breakfast sandwich!” It’s 3:30 in the afternoon. Heck, even without a job to wake up for, I finished my breakfast by 11:00 AM today.)

I’ve heard that during one’s ____ (sabbatical? timeout? period of enlightenment?), s/he should re-examine the concept of “To Do” lists. So then, here is my “What’s Next” list, version 1.0:

Go all in on my relationship

Jen (my girlfriend) and I have been dating long distance for almost three years. We’re moving in together in 11 days. Check.

(Side note: I am most tolerable in small doses. I mentioned this fact to Jen. She still wants to live with me full time. This could get interesting.)

Get reacquainted with my family

My parents are getting older. I see them roughly twice per year. I told Dad I was planning an extended visit. His response was, “How long are you staying?”

Don’t mess with a retiree’s square dancing schedule.

Get in shape

My brother and I are planning a mountain bike trip along the Great Divide. We will ride roughly 50 miles per day, from Banff, Canada, south through Montana. During bear season.

Serve my community

One of my proudest moments occurred when I was honored as a youth mentor of the year.

One of my most photogenic moments occurred when I was a volunteer firefighter. I never actually put out a fire. But the photo of me in my firefighting gear made a great profile pic.

(Update: The server just called out someone else’s order: “Irish breakfast tea!” I’m not making this up.)


There are many more things I want to do, places I want to go, people I want to see. If you receive an email or text message from me that starts with “It’s been a while!” you should expect that I will ask to sleep in your spare bedroom. Or on your couch.

I’m excited and terrified. I believe that whatever comes next, is directly related to how hard I work. And I will work hard.

Right after I finish this second breakfast.