My new friend the engineer and former drummer has eight children, lives in the shadow of Yosemite and is living life the way he always wanted to live it. But that is getting ahead of the story. When he was 17, his mother died of cancer. A short time before her death, his father had earned VP stripes at one of the most successful companies in Silicon Valley. He had worked long hours, made frequent business trips and his work had been his life. But now, looking back, his dad shared his feelings: The race up the corporate ladder hadn't been worth it. All he ever wanted was more time with the woman he loved. Now it was too late.
When he was 21, my friend gave up the drums and enrolled at the University of California to study engineering. His math skills were rusty but somehow he graduated with a 3.9 grade point average. Encouraged by the learning experience and confident of the future, he married his sweetheart while still in college. They pledged their love and their commitment to family. A few years later he landed an engineering job with the hottest company on the planet with stock performance to match. But something was missing, and after the birth of his fifth child he began to think about his father's experience. He was feeling many of the same emotions, those long hours away from home and the people he loved. But when he approached his boss about working from home he was turned down.
After the birth of his sixth child he took family leave and stayed home with his wife, caring for her and home-schooling the children. It was a love-enriching experience, one he did not want to give up. He quit his job and after searching for a place to live, he and the love of his life settled on a small town near the entrance to Yosemite. They bought a home and land with their savings, and he landed a job with a global Silicon Valley company, with a culture built around distributed innovation, a company more than willing to let him work out of his home and live his dream. Indeed, life can be beautiful.
When Frank isn't being uplifted by folks who are living life their way, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.