One Year

Dear J—

My son just turned five; he was a little over a year old when I switched jobs to become a cool system engineer, sharing responsibility for HVAC and chiller systems at the plant. Before he was two I spent two weeks in Charlotte getting trained on tearing down and rebuilding and trending large Carrier chillers but even before that, I joined the team that has come to define my professional life, the steam generator engineers. At first I joined it unwittingly since I thought it would be like any other issue, fixed after a few months and back on our merry way generating electricity.

I should apologize to my first boss there and tell him he was right: this did change my life. I’ve traveled to conferences and seen sights and learned (am learning, in fact) new knowledge that’s been indispensable and valuable and how different has my life become as part of this? I measure it in the progress – or lack of progress and patience I’ve had with my son because I haven’t spent the same amount of time early on, these last four years. I just haven’t.

You make your choices and you have to live with them but they don’t tell you up front what they might really mean, do they? Four years ago? Two years ago? I sometimes think my mental picture is frozen from long ago and the kids that are now are definitely different from the ones that were then and how do you go back and re-spend your time over that period?


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