One year ago, today, my father died. It was one of those moments in my life that wasn’t exactly unexpected, but it was also one of the most difficult. It was also one of the biggest turning points in my life. So many things have changed in the last year, despite losing my dad. I took the opportunity handed to me and decided to run with it. Out of grief and sorrow, I decided to follow my dreams full-speed ahead.
The results couldn’t be any more startling. Shortly after my dad died, I decided to leave my steady, well-paying job of almost 7 years to go an entirely different direction with my life. I would leave the world of technology, IT, and software engineering for the world of senior care. It is a very different way of life, giving back to the world, rather than building the next, new widget. Instead, we’re helping people at a point in their lives when they need an extra hand, or they need help doing simple things in life. We’re helping people who need help, and who are extremely vulnerable.
What a change that this past year has brought in my life. I literally spent almost the entire year working on getting his estate through probate, while working on starting two companies, and keeping another couple going. When I decided to start two companies simultaneously, it sounded like a good enough idea at the time, even if it was a bit on the crazy side. Okay- it was probably the smartest- and stupidest – thing I’ve done in my life. Two companies means twice the work, twice the frustration and aggravation, accounting, payroll, and just getting the companies up and going! It means hiring twice as many staff members, and half the amount of sleep that I might otherwise get.
Yet, I stand here at the 1 year mark for both companies, and I can tell that we are well on our way to profitability, and that we will continue to improve. It takes a lot of work, and persistence. I’m pretty sure that most people thought that it wasn’t possible- yet I’m proving that it is indeed possible, just not easy.
I spent a lot of the last year missing my dad, and remembering him. I also have thanked him for nudging me along towards doing what I feel called to do, and for reminding me that life can be very short, and we don’t always have control over it. Since he had Parkinson’s and dementia, and died at a relatively young 71 years of age, I am reminded to get on with doing what is most important to me, and not to worry about what others might think about it.
What a great year it has been. What a ton of lessons I’ve learned!
[Mimulus flowers, probably, from front, Mission Trails Regional Park (Photo credit: Martin LaBar) ]