"Naughty, naughty, naughty," a woman signed from the driver's seat of an SUV this morning as I ran along Stoopville Road, near Newtown, Pennsylvania. I was plodding through an inch of freshly fallen snow. I waved and smiled, thinking "naughty, naughty, naughty, why do you think it's necessary to drive on a morning when traffic reports are full of accidents?"
Poor thing. Maybe she had to go to work today, return or exchange a misguided Christmas gift, visit a sick friend or family member in a hospital, or fly somewhere to testify. It's been a long time since I put on a suit and cowarded my way through inclement weather. Cowarded, I say, because I was not a brave maverick. I was a traditional uptight corporate executive who preferred not making waves by failing to show up when I was expected.
Now I can dress warmly and greet snow with enthusiasm or cuddle underneath warm blankets in front of a roaring fire. I can walk instead of run because I don't have to be anywhere soon. I can do my job later, after everyone else is asleep, if I prefer. I can Google my old boss and remember his comment when I resigned, "I wish I could do that." "Certainly you could," said I. "No, my wife likes shopping too much" were the words of a screamer at the office, a wimp in his own home.
"Are you saying you have no regrets?" says Virginia.
"Not about leaving the rat race," says I. "I'm grateful to be running through a maze of my own creation."
2 weeks ago