Commentary by Terry Anker
The path to a happy life and fulfilling career is rarely a direct one. In fact, modern times seemingly dictate an intentionally circuitous route. We switch jobs with ever increasing frequency. We move from home to home. We jump from city to city, even state to state and nation to nation, more often than any generation of Americans. The toll of this constant condition of change can be a difficult burden for many. We struggle to create and maintain long-term and stable relationships. We often become disassociated from our family and neighbors. Isolation is an emerging human crisis even as we are more connected, at least electronically, than ever before.
The reasons that drive us to give up the known, the familiar, and the constant to seek new challenges and opportunities are as varied as the ways that we define the fulfillment that we seek. Several years ago, I decided to veer off a bit from the secure and well-understood career I’d built in the previous 20 years to serve somewhat more directly. Long a volunteer and donor to a variety of causes, an opportunity was presented to help lead the local community foundation, to build its endowment and to elevate its profile. This month marks the completion of that tenure.
It has been a good, if imperfect, run. Many metrics have been achieved and congratulations exchanged. Yet, like many at a moment of transition, one looks for summation of it all. What was learned? How could it have been better? Was it worth the effort? Given another at-bat, would we look for the same pitch?
As I return to a life more familiar, I will miss the one that I’ve come to live. But happiness is found in its pursuit. And, in that, I’m a lucky guy.