“This has been the best year of my life”, I told Sam as we were climbing Wheeler Mountain in Maine. She replied, “You don’t hear many people saying that these days.” Isn’t that the truth?
It’s been 5 years now since I quit my job in corporate America and set out to declare my independence. I’m making a living as an outdoor writer on my own steam without having to rely on anyone else, I get up into the woods and mountains a few days each week to backpack, fish, and ski, and I get to help people who want to spend more of their free time outdoors. I never thought life could be so much fun.
I still work real hard, but without all the stress and angst that I had when I was a corporate exec. My work is play, if you get what I mean. I’m genuinely happy every day. I still have financial metrics like any businessman, but without the incredible pressure and guilt that comes when working for a company that is only interested in making more money. While you need some money to live on, you shouldn’t let making money take over your life. You can’t buy those years back after you retire.
But I couldn’t have done it alone without my loving wife’s support and I hope you are as blessed as I am to have such a caring, loyal, and intelligent life companion. She’s always been there to encourage me when I’m feeling down or to distract me, when I need to be distracted.
While life has been good the past 4 years, I made a few changes in my routine this year that yielded big results in the happiness department. I’ve been supplementing our income during the past few years with a little marketing consulting work on the side, but I shut that down (and let my clients go) so I could have more free time to camp and hang out with my honey, focus more on writing new content, ski, fish, and hike even more.
That gamble paid off, much to my surprise, and Section Hiker readership doubled again this year to 200,000 readers per month. It’s hard to believe that a personal hiking and backpacking blog can garner so much attention when people have so many media outlets available to them, so I sincerely thank you for your patronage.
“Onward and by all means”, as my friends Tom and Atticus Finch say. Onward and by all means!