Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Work in a Cold and Lonely Place

I work in a cold and lonely place, well at least is seems that way this time of year.

I shouldn’t complain, I have a view out of my office window that can't be duplicated anywhere, for out my window the sun rises over Charleston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean on the left side (Port) and sets over the Ravenel Bridge looking out the back door (Stern).

Throughout the day massive container ships pass only 400 yards away, while dolphin swim closer to me than the copier and fax machine used to be in the office of my 9-5 investment banking job. The job I gave up to enjoy my midlife crisis.

But for all the pleasures I enjoy, this time of year it's cold. Most of my friends here in Charleston are dock friends, people you meet on the docks are like good neighbors, always happy to give you a hand, loan you a tool or offer sage advice.

The number of my friends on the dock lately has diminished much like the hours of daylight. It’s a hard day, when you suddenly realize that summer has faded into late fall and winter’s chilly winds are only a few weeks away

Crews of mega yachts have all headed south for the winter. Places like St. Bart's, Antigua, South Beach, all warm friendly places where tan lines are the norm.

The retired couples on small trawlers and sail boats head south as well, but for less grand and well known locations. Green Turtle, Clark’s Beach and RV Resort, Paradise Cove Family Campground and Marina or just the other place just the other side of warm wherever that may be.

As I wait for the sun to rise, I can't help but think about my old job and the changes I've made. I've given up my white oxford button down shirts for a polo shirt complete with my boat’s name, my Hickney Freeman suits for a pair of cargo shorts, wingtips for sandals and a six figure income for much less. I miss none of the suits and ties.

What I miss is the daily grind, the hard charging lifestyle of coffee in one hand, Hartman brief case in the other and making the elevator just in time. Taking a taxi from 37 Wall Street to Newark airport, knowing that the fare is double what I’d pay had my flight left from LGA instead. I miss not caring about the price of my ticket because my expense account covers everything. I miss my AMEX Platinum Card.

It's six AM and Robin Meade is calling me "bed head" as if she thinks I'll roll over and sleep for another 30 minutes. I need not hurry, since I don’t have to beat the traffic, and I don’t need to drop my son off at school or fix his lunch these days.

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t plop in the driveway at 4:30 anymore, sound I discovered I miss.

Yet there is work to be done, but it can wait as the slight motion of this 70 foot yacht, rocked by the gentle waves of Charleston Harbor makes sleep easy.

But I can't sleep, and who could when the view from your office looks like this.....

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