The cat is out of the bag and the ball is rolling. I gave my company notice on Thursday, March 31 of my separation intentions. My last day will be this next Friday, April 8. And while I still have a bit of corporate life left, I am sitting here in my home office on a Saturday recognizing that the gears are already shifting.

For one, I still have a boss. You would think that when I left corporate life I would be free of someone over me. However, I have always joked that “I go to work so I can get some relaxation in away from my weekend boss at home” — especially when there were very physical projects on the property. Pouring concrete, laying tile, finishing drywall, or fixing a truck suspension, those are tiring efforts and much harder to perform than my non-physical, desk jockey, meeting joining day job — although all the thinking, leading, guiding, advising, and managing can be mentally taxing, but I digress.

For example, right now the squeaking dryer in our laundry room that announces its need for attention in the form of “squeak, squeak” during each rotation is an unavoidable reminder that my permanent sabbatical list is not at a threat to diminish. Add to that the fact that I see the grass recovering from its winter dormancy and starting to grow which is a reminder that I need to pull out the zero turn mower and perform Spring preventative maintenance so it is ready to cut down the ever-growing mass of green. However, I will have more time to tackle that never-ending home list that we all seem to have.

And technically, this is no different than any other weekend when there are things to check off the list. But I guess I am more sensitized to the fact that I will have more time to focus and tackle the medium and small items on the list that tend to get prioritized farther down when Sunday evening rolls around and there is a stack of lesser tasks that did not get finished.

So here is to the new phase of permanent sabbatical and the shifting of gears.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

It has been quite a while since I have written anything on this site. Life has continued on — family, career, COVID, etc. There have been peaks and valleys to write about, but time was spent elsewhere instead of writing blog posts.

However, there is a significant upcoming life event that bears much resemblance to what prompted me to start this blog in November 2004 and write posts for over 10 years. Back then we were launching out on an adventure to leave the Southern California rat race and slow down (hence this blog name) into the Kentucky countryside.

Well, I am about to do that again, by leaving the corporate rat race and slow down into what some might call early retirement, but I am deciding to call permanent sabbatical.

My last sabbatical in Sept and Oct of 2021 was filled with travel with my wife, family time, volunteering, home projects, and road tripping our beautiful country. In my mind, those 8 weeks were “practice” for my upcoming departure from corporate life. And it was so successful that I could have started right then and there. However, there were financial, spiritual, physical, and logistical things that needed to be put in place. The timing was not yet right.

Now is that time.

Tomorrow on the last day of March 2022, I will submit my voluntary resignation to a company I have spent 12 1/2 years with. Add the 12 years from my previous company and I have spent almost a quarter of a century in the biotech industry. I have been blessed by many people, colleagues, experiences, opportunities, and challenges throughout that time. But the time to transition is now — hence my 2022 word of the year — TRANSITION. And hence, my intent to pick back up writing this blog. I hope all seven of you enjoy it.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Happy New Year!

It’s been about 2 1/2 years since my last post so I thought I’d get back into the habit of writing. And it seems that the world has not slowed down one bit. The need to slow down, connect with meaning, and soak up the blessings all around us has never been greater — however, it is even more neglected than when I started this blog over a decade ago. Technology, world events, and the pace of life has overshadowed this need and only those who truly seek it will find it.

Here’s to us sharing that journey,
…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net


…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Today a friend of mine celebrated his 47th birthday. I met him when I was a freshman in high school so we are going on 3 decades of knowing each other. However, in spite of our high school, college, and post college lives together, I realized I don’t really know him as well as one would think. You see, our lives started to diverge when I got married and started to focus on my family. Sure, we’d see each other a few times a year, but it was mostly just to catch up — we didn’t do any additional “road building” in our relationship. And then he got married and started to focus on his family. And then we moved to Kentucky which leaves us lucky to see each other once every few years or so. Yes, there is Facebook and email and phone and text. But it does not replace time together. And the three decades of duration do not matter if there is no time together.

Which got me thinking — while we are the most connected society in the history of the world, do we really “know” each other?

And while I value this friend, he is not one of my priorities (posted about here in Friday’s post). What would trouble me is if one of my priorities — God, my wife, my kids — ended up with a duration relationship without the time together. I am sure that has happened to some families and people are moms, dads, and kids by label only.

I don’t want to be a label. I WILL NOT be a label.

So therefore, I will not only define my priorities, I will love and invest myself in them. And that requires A Slower Pace.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

One of the things that became clear to me during last week’s A Slower Pace CHALLENGE was the need for clear priorities. As the pace of your life slows down as a result of putting in place some Slower Pace principles, you will have more margin in your life — more time, more energy, more focus. However, if you do not have clear priorities — such as faith, family, health, personal growth, and others — you will end up swapping your old habits with unproductive and unfulfilling alternatives. It would be the dieting equivalent of giving up McDonalds fast food only to hit up Burger King for your meal instead of a salad bar or healthy alternative.

So what are your priorities?

Did you set them yourself or were they set by something or someone else? In today’s culture, that is a valid question.

Is what you are doing / reading / working on next because the calendar or “to do” list said so?

Many of you may have heard this next story. Imagine you have an empty Mason jar. This represents your life, your energy, your time — 1440 minutes a day, 168 hours a week — all of it finite and limited.

There is a cup of sand in front of you. This represents the many various things you need to get done throughout the day. Pour it into the jar.

Now, there is also a cup of pebbles in front of you. This represents the various commitments you have made. It can be after work activities, church programs, volunteering, sports practices, kids’ music lessons, carpool commitments — the list can go on an on. Go ahead an pour the pebbles into the Mason jar.

Finally, there are five golf balls in front of you. These would represent the major items in your life that are most precious to you. They can be many things, but personally mine consist of faith, wife, kids, career, and service.

Take your golf balls and put them into the Mason jar…..however, they do not fit. There is no more room in your life for them. It is the end of the day and you still have things left undone. You are finally home from work but have no energy for your spouse, kids, or family.

When I heard this story, I was ashamed at how often that was the case. However, there is hope.

Rewind the story back to the empty Mason jar. Now instead of the sand going in first, you make a CONSCIOUS decision to put in your priority golf balls into the jar.

Now that you have your priorities taken care of, go ahead and pour in the cup of pebbles. Shake the jar around. See, there still is room for the carpool duties, sports practices, and music lessons.

Finally, that cup of sand — go ahead and add it to your Mason jar of life. Yes, you might need to shake it a bit, or slow down your pour as the sand works its way to the bottom. But there is a high chance that you can fit it all into your jar. And even if you cannot fit all the sand in, it’s only sand. It is not a golf ball which is what you were left holding in the first scenario.

And to top off the metaphor, take a cup of sweet tea (or coffee or beer). Add that to your seemingly full Mason jar of life. Just when you thought your jar couldn’t hold any more, the lesson is that there is always time for a cup of sweet tea (or coffee or beer) with a friend.

Here is a video of the same metaphor.

So what are your golf balls or big rocks?

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

While there seems to be some lurking, Facebook sharing, and post observing, I haven’t seen any comments or emails relating any of y’alls stories about this last weekend’s Amish living. So I am going to assume this is one of those cases where everyone is just waiting for someone to jump in the pool first to test the water — so here goes.

 In the Slower Pace CHALLENGE post, I said I was going to lead by example and go for giving up all three:

  • Television
  • Computer
  • Mobile devices

Well, I can assure you it was not easy but I was successful. I was very surprised how instinctual it was for me to grab my phone first thing when I woke up. Thankfully, I turned off the alarm and remembered my intentions, and then put it down and proceeded to get up out of bed. No reason to scroll through email accounts seeing what came in overnight. No reason to mosey through Facebook posts to see what has transpired in the last 8 hours. No reason to check the weather — all I gotta do is just look outside. Again, it still surprised me how that morning “catch up” habit was so, well…..habitual. On the plus side, I automatically gained 10-20 minutes just by not doing anything with my phone other than turn off the alarm.

While I did not have work to go to, my son and I did have plans to head out on the canoe. Unfortunately, the cloudy, drizzly weather was not conducive to an enjoyable canoe paddle so instead he and I headed in to town for the gun show. And because I did not have any TV, computer, or mobile activity to distract me, I was able to get in my cardio workout, make the bed, and clean our master bedroom all before he even woke up. This also completely threw my wife for a loop because I never make the bed. I attribute my very productive morning to the lack of distractions.

While at the show, my son and I enjoyed time together without the distraction of social media. The only time we used our phones was to text each other our location one time when we separated. My battery was also still above 90% — another unforeseen benefit.

The remainder of Saturday allowed time for a nap, a Chick-Fil-A dinner with friends, and a worship service. Granted, the dinner and worship would still have occurred had I not been Amish and electronics-less, but it was very nice none-the-less.

Sunday, like Saturday, started off with the phone alarm going off. I still had to fight the morning “catch up” habit, but it was much easier to get going. Church was the normal electronics desert, as it should be — no change there. And the rest of Sunday included some grocery shopping, tinkering in the garage, and hanging around as a family.

All in all, for me, the Slower Pace CHALLENGE was a success. Some takeaways:

  • The mobile phone and iPad tendencies were probably the hardest habits to break. When any of us have down time (waiting in line, waiting for someone, generally waiting), the first reaction is to grab for the phone to fill up the dead space.
  • There were a few times during the weekend when I wanted to look something up or access a piece of information. That part of electronics is beneficial. But will that 2 minute Google search turn into a 20 minute Facebook foray? Kinda like the $20 trip to Costco for TP and milk turns into $150.
  • I observed that I felt I had more time available — for my family, to get things done, or just to relax. It would be interesting to run this experiment during a weekday.
  • Coming back to it all — TV, computers, mobile — #1) it didn’t take me long to catch up and #2) I didn’t miss that much. That being said, I might just incorporate some of these findings into my every day life.

So there you go, folks. It’s not too late to comment on your experience.

Or, if you missed out last weekend, run your own A Slower Pace CHALLENGE and see how it changes you. And then drop me a note here.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Last Friday on the front end of the weekend, I put up A Slower Pace CHALLENGE to give up some of the things that accelerate the pace of our lives — television, computers, and mobile devices. And the challenge wasn’t just to give those things up, but to replace them with items more substantial — family, hobbies, faith, honey do’s, and relaxation. The whole idea was to use this weekend to pause and slow down a bit.

Well, how’d you do?

What did you notice? What did you accomplish in the absence of habits, distractions, or routines? What are your takeaways from the exercise?

Tell me your story. I would like to hear how things went. Either comment in the space below or drop me an email to “dan at” (replacing the at with an email “@”).

I will share those comments and stories along with my weekend story in Wednesday’s post.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net


…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

With the weekend upon us, I want to put out in front of you a CHALLENGE that I hope will be hard to accomplish but worthwhile. The intent is to slow you down, remove some noise in your life, and allow you to focus on replenishment and priorities.

Select your grade:

  • Sergeant – for the duration of the weekend (Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20) elimination of ONE of the following:
    • television
    • computer
    • mobile device (tablet or cellphone – with the exception of your cellphone used for calls only, no app or internet usage)
  • Captain – for the duration of the weekend (Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20) elimination of TWO of the following:
    • television
    • computer
    • mobile device (tablet or cellphone – with the exception of your cellphone used for calls only, no app or internet usage)
  • General – for the duration of the weekend (Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20) elimination of ALL of the following:
    • television
    • computer
    • mobile device (tablet or cellphone – with the exception of your cellphone used for calls only, no app or internet usage)

I am committing to General. This is my blog and I need to lead by example. I am hoping to go canoeing again so I will have my cellphone with me, but I will pretend it is an old 90’s flip phone and will only use it for calls. Just so I don’t use any apps, I will bring along a separate digital camera.

Drop me a note in the comments and let me know what grade level you are selecting.

So what do you say? Are you with me?

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net