The Close of The First Act

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. — Winston Churchill

This is not my favorite Churchill quote. That would be: “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.” It is the one I use the most.  It does the most to explain what has happened in the last few weeks of my life.

A year ago, I decided to leave the job I had.  I was at a crossroads in that job. I was at 5 years of service.  I faced a decision.  Either stay for another 25 years and retire or live a life that would make me content.  I choose contentment and not relative safety and security.

I may have written it before, but I started exploring Zen and meditation around the same time. Last summer, I found a website called Zen Habits and I read this particular post.  I’m not a person who looks at singular moments and says, “This changed my life.”  This blog post changed my life.

I’m not going to go into the details, but I suggest you read the post and do what I did.  I spent at least a month going through the list and then another month thinking about what it all meant.  I discovered that I had two passions, sports (specifically soccer) and beer.  Then, I laid out a perfect day for myself.  That day more than suggested, that my perfect job would be freelance writer.  So, I figured out a way to create a life centered around writing about beer.  The first step was to find a job that would allow me to do that.

Late September last year, I go to GABF and on that Friday I had down time and continued my job search.  I found the job for Craft Growler Shop and Tasting Room on Craigslist.  It as yet didn’t exist.  Even now I don’t know if I should have gotten the job.  By the time I went back to Lowes after a week away, I had another job.  It is 11 months later and I am forever grateful that Dan Davis, the owner, has trusted me enough to name me manager.

Then a few months ago another opportunity popped into my life.  This one courtesy of Daniel Hartis (one of the best beer writers and advocates for NC beer).  He had been approached by Jason and Kerrie Boys to write for their new magazine, Gravity.  Because of a changing job status for Daniel he had to decline.  He did point Jason and Kerrie in my direction from reading my work.  Again, cut to today and I have a column in the premiere issue of the magazine and I’m working on my second.

I wrote all those words to explain that with my new position, I get a new schedule which will allow two things.  I now will close all week which means I now have my morning open to write and read about beer.  That will mean more posts and finally studying for the Cicerone exam.  It will also mean I have Sundays off to watch football and drink beer.

Anyway, the Five Articles will post more consistently.  It will also mean, I am going to change the reviews a little. I may do more week long tastings comparing different beers in the same style.  It definitely means, along with any reviews there will be a history of the style of beer being reviewed.  The goal will be to lay out the history and the style expectations of the beer I will be tasting.  Then see how it matches up in the way a judge would in competition.

There will be other life changes that these new occurrences will spawn.  Those will become evident as the year continues and I will keep everyone posted.  I just wanted to let everyone know that the second act of whatever this is, is about to begin.