Tuesday, December 11, 2007


On May 15, 2001, I received the news that my office was going to be shut down and everyone in that office would be losing their jobs by the end of the year. I took some time to digest this news and went through most of the stages of grieving. I went quickly through denial (hard to deny something when the CEO is standing in the front of an all-company meeting telling everyone what is going to happen) straight into angry. I stayed in angry for about a week. Bargaining was taken care of by the HR department. I was a bit too busy for depression - besides, my department (Technology and Infrastructure) and my minions had a crap-load of work to do before the lights were turned off and Seattle stopped paying the bills. Suddenly, I found myself in acceptance. Acceptance that maybe, finally, this *might* be the winter that I could ... ski.

Being a responsible, family-oriented dad has always been first and foremost in my priorities. I want my loved ones to have what they need and some of what they want. I made plans (which I made known to my concerned wife-at-the-time) for acquiring new and gainful employment. I would consult, a new company would be created and I would continue to bring in money. A secret motive existed for this arrangement, though - being master of my own schedule meant to me that certain days could be 'booked' to allow me some time in the mountains that I love so much.

Another benefit of the big layoff was a severance package. Some of this money I claimed for myself went towards the extravagant (at the time) purchase of some good-quality-but-used demo skis, boots and bindings from a local high-end ski shop. This was one of the few treats I allowed myself in those lean years. I hadn't skied a whole lot previously, but knew that I loved it. I thought that this winter would hold much mountain-time for me.

Fate had other plans. Days after the office had officially shut down, the old gang called me up to be their infrastructure guy. The (ex)wife was beating me with a stick to get out there and drum up business, and very little ski time was had.

Years pass. A divorce happens. Life bcomes busy with re-establishing myself. I become master of my own time. A home is set up. Children become older and require less hands-on time. Some financial resources are freed up.

Suddenly, I can afford a Sunshine Pass. Suddenly, HR at my current job realizes that they have been calculating my vacation accumulation incorrectly this year, and I actually have two weeks stored vacation time instead of the four days I thought I had to stretch through the winter.

Could this be the year that I actually learn to do moguls?