If you've read my threads and such, over the last few years, you may remember that I have been in a situation where I have been doing long distance commuting from Raleigh, NC to NY,NY. For almost 5 years, I've been driving up and down the east coast weekly or biweekly to do my job and then get back home to my wife and kids in NC. Lots of overnight runs, in bad weather, sleeping in the car in funky places, encounters with weirdos, breakdowns in the middle of nowhere and LOTS and LOTS of greasy, gross road food all combined to turn me from a healthy guy with boundless energy to an overweight, chronically exhausted, nervous wreck. But I just kept putting my head down and pushing forward, because I'd convinced myself that I had to do this for my family. Sometime last summer I posted a thread bemoaning how this lifestyle was beating me up, and that my doctors were convinced it would eventually lead to a rapid health decline or worse. That thread was a wakeup call for me, because loads of YOU rallied to tell me that they were right and I was crazy. Around the same time, a group of friends at work took me aside and said, "Hey man, we know you better than anyone, and we're scared for you. We don't want you to die." They made me look at the photo on my company ID from a few years back, that showed a fresh faced, bright eyed and much thinner man. "THIS", they said "is you!" "Not the bloated, pale guy with circles under his eyes that you're turning into!" It really got me thinking and working to turn things around. Focus on the positive. I did, and man what a change. I started thinking of all the positive things that have come out of this wacky existence. I've certainly learned that I'm WAY tougher than I thought I ever was. I have dealt with things I never thought I could. I can and have simplified and scaled down and found it makes living MUCH easier and more enjoyable. I've learned, who my real true friends are. And what real friendship means. And often that can be even be more valuable than family. I've learned to tell people that I love and care about that I love and care about them. They need to know. I've learned that I can't put a price on my wife and kids. Its way too important to me to see the kids grow up then to make a lot of $$. I'd rather bus tables and live in a trailer, and get to see them every day. Stuff is just stuff. And when its all over the only thing that's left is memories and experience. Nobody ever says, "Hey....remember that thing?" They say, "Hey...remember that time?" So basically what I'm getting to, is that I finally came to the conclusion that this situation no longer made sense. Monetarily, health-wise, family-wise...everything was slipping further and further away. So, two weeks ago I took a deep breath and called my boss and gave two week's notice. Got sort of a tepid response, but that was really no surprise. Over the last 10 business days, I figured I'd just slink around in the shadows and say goodbye to a few people that I've come to love over the last 15 years and just slip out quietly. But a funny thing happened. Word got out, and I began to receive dozens of emails, texts and calls from people. Not the higher-ups. From the people. The folks I trained (I'm in training and development) and managed over the years. Thanking me and telling me that I made a difference in their lives and careers. Never saw that coming. Made me feel really, really good. Because that, folks was really what I set out to do. So what's next? I dunno really. A little much needed and well deserved R&R. Some time with the family. I've assembled a new band and we're ready to get going. Got some writing projects to finish. And then on to the next adventure. Bittersweet leaving NY tomorrow for the last time. I love NY, I love so many people here. But...I'm looking forward to coming back to visit after I've given myself time to really miss it. I want to say thanks to the folks here who posted on my threads and helped me get up the guts to turn the page. (Not an easy thing to do) And to those of you (you know who you are) who have sent me PM's periodically to check on me. Thanks! Onward and forward!!!!!