It’s been a busy summer.
Now, that may sound funny coming from me. I don’t have a full-time job. I don’t have weekend outings with the wife and kids. I don’t have a dog to walk or a backyard to manage.
So, what am I doing? Well, let me tell you.
First, as I’ve mentioned, I do have a part-time job as a sailing instructor with OCSC Sailing School. The normal schedule for an instructor like me might be a couple of weekends a month. But, because I’m trying to accumulate “sea time” to qualify for my U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License, I’m pushing the envelope and asking OCSC for as much work as possible. I’ve averaged about 4 days a week this summer, so it’s almost a full-time job! I’m really loving the work, as I knew I would. I still can’t believe they’re paying me to sail on the Bay and share my passion with others, while I also reap the reward of helping people achieve their own goals.
Second, I’ve traveled up and down the West Coast of the United States for a series of reunions.
In early August, I drove 400 miles south to Los Angeles, for my high school reunion. On Friday night, I met a couple of high school friends for dinner in small, more intimate setting. Then, on Saturday night, I met a slightly larger group of friends for dinner before we headed to the main event, which was held at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas. Over 100 people showed up. It was a fantastic evening filled with stories, smiles, and selfies. Thanks to the organizers, as well as to everyone who traveled long distances and/or took time off from their normal lives to attend. It was great to see everyone. New friendships formed, and old ones rekindled.
In mid-August, I flew north to Portland, Oregon for our annual family reunion at my parents' beach house in Manzanita. We filled the weekend with beach walks, jigsaw puzzles, board games, and home-cooked meals. The weather, as usual, was hit or miss – a couple days of sun, one day of rain.
Also in August, I attended a *monthly* reunion with some of my best Bay Area friends. I started this tradition over two and a half years ago with a particular group of local guys, as we were all getting pretty busy with jobs, spouses, kids, and travel. I suggested we try to commit to one evening a month, when we can get together for a couple of hours. It’s sort of like a “boys’ night,” but without the sports talk and debauchery you might be envisioning. We meet in the Financial District of downtown San Francisco (the neighborhood that seems most central to offices and train stations) at a different bar every month, to catch up on personal and professional life. We minimize the scheduling hassle by just picking a date and whoever makes it, makes it, for however long they can stay. If someone misses one month, we hope they make it the next month. I don’t know about the other guys, but I look forward to it every month when I’m in town. And when I’m out of town, they *claim* to continue the tradition in my honor. :-)
As September approaches, I’m continuing my teaching at full speed ahead, logging 3-4 days a week, targeting to reach the required 360 days on the water in 2018 sometime, at which point I’ll test for my Captain’s License.
I’ll take a break in mid-September, when I head to Germany for yet another reunion. This time it will be with my classmate and roommate from business school, Ulf, who hails from a small town in northern Germany. I try to visit Ulf every other year for a week of hiking or snowboarding with him and his friends (whom have also become my friends by now). This year, we're going hiking; and as often happens, we've timed the trip to sync with Ulf's birthday as well as Oktoberfest.
That reminds me, I need to start training for the hiking trip. Those German guys are in shape and they walk FAST! And they use trekking poles! After so many trips over there, I have finally purchased my own pair of trekking poles, so this year I’ll at least look the part when hiking the Alps. But when my friends don their elaborately-embroidered lederhosen, shirts, and socks for Oktoberfest... well, forget about me trying to look the part. I just can't compete. I'll wear jeans.