Daily Archives: May 26, 2006

The questioning of career, life, family, love follows grief (taking a week off of blogging)

Two days ago Maryam told me that she always wanted a BMW (we've been planning a car purchase for a while cause her Toyota was starting to show its age).

So, last night, what did I do? I bought her one. A BMW 325i. By far the wackiest, and scariest, and most irrational purchase I've ever made. Why? Because my alimony is coming to an end this summer (4.5 years of paying more than $1,100 per month, and that's not including child support). But, this is not usual behavior for me. What brought it on? My mom's stroke and death reminded me that life is temporary. She reminded me that it's important to have fun while you're here. Even if you are a workahaolic. Smell the roses and all that.

I might regret such an impetuous purchase (particularly after we get the bill). It is expensive. And wild. But it is such a nice car. And Maryam deserves it. She stayed with me even when I'd blog late into the night. If I'm lucky, she'll let me drive it once in a while. And I am lucky. Heheh! Actually, I was totally shocked when the bank approved the purchase.

I am totally fortunate to be in that position. Something we often forget in the midst of wild wealth that we have here on the West Coast (over the weekend a Mercedes SLR rolled by, that's a car that costs $700,000 to buy, which is $660,000 more than the one I bought Maryam). This is an unreal world. Most of the world lives on $2 a day. I forget that a lot of times. But I just said the heck with it.

Tonight, though, I find I'm questioning everything about my life. Am I doing the right things? Treating people well enough? Doing enough to improve the world?

What do I want to do career wise? I've had some wild opportunities thrown at me recently. Should I consider them? For what reason? What's the value I add to the world? Can I do more? Are there things that I'd love to do more than taking a camcorder around Microsoft and representing Microsoft to developers? In five years, where do I want to be? Who do I want to be?

What kind of father should I be? I haven't been a good one, all truth be told. My son is hurtling into his teenage years. What kind of role model should I be? How could I get more involved in his life? He's coming to stay with us next month. What should we do together? Yeah, the Xbox is all primed, but it's time to do more than just play gadgets. Maybe take him camping.

How do I want to be a better husband? What is important to me in our home life?

Oh, my mom's sister? Three of her siblings died when they were 66 (including my mom). She's 65 and is really worried. What would you do if you knew you had a year to live? I answered myself "I'd buy Maryam a BMW and we'd drive around having fun." Which led to my impulsive behavior last night. Can someone remind me to keep me away from expensive toys during times of grief?

Tonight I talked with Vic Gundotra, the guy who hired me into Microsoft. He told me how times like this in life (when you lose someone important to you, or meet tragedy) bring into hyper focus what's important. I'm not so sure. I liked life four weeks ago when I thought I had it all figured out.

Now all I have is questions.

Anyway, I'm going to take a week off to ponder these questions, and more, get some exercise, and take care of my mom's affairs (she designated me as the one she wanted to take care of her estate).

I thought about continuing to blog, but really, there's times that one just needs to go sit quietly in the middle of Yellowstone or another park and pick the lint out of your bellybutton and ponder life's questions. This is one of those times.

Hey, got some answers? Give 'em up! Heheh. See ya back here on about June 4.