It’s been a little more than a year since I moved from Chicago to Portland, and about fifteen months since I left my career in instructional technology in higher education.

Some days it feels like so much change has happened in that time. Other days it feels like my life has always been like this. I am very at home in the Pacific Northwest. When I leave and come back–as I did for a recent short trip to Los Angeles–I truly get what it means to experience a “sight for sore eyes,” as the tall trees around the airport come into view, and settle into the lush green and laid back tenor of the place.

I am both quite satisfied and a little unsettled. I’m still trying to find my routine. Not a daily routine, necessarily, but how I pursue all the things I want to do in a way that lets me feel relaxed and balanced most of the time. Part of me thinks this is perhaps a constant struggle, but then, the other part reframes it as a continuing journey. Maybe I’ll never get there, but I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Without a doubt I am more relaxed, less stressed and much less anxious that two years ago. I enjoy working from home and in general I’m feeling more productive than I have in years. My job is challenging, but also doable, and I get to work with tremendously smart people who are excited about the future. Aspects of that are due to working for a small company rather than a large organization. But it’s also due to the positive and humane way my company goes about its business. It makes a difference.

There is much to do in my work and in my life. So much to live for. I am grateful.