I wrote Thursday’s Day 68 blog through tears and snot at 1am. It was Day 68 – the last day of the ride, and I was unexpectedly overcome with heartache. My adventure was over and I missed it already. Crying was extremely cathartic.
I also felt conflicted. On the one hand, I was elated to be home. I missed my family, my friends, my dog, my town, and my routines. I was so appreciative of all that people had done to welcome me home. On the other hand, I longed to continue my adventure.
Another lesson I learned on the Ride is that people like to rally around a journey – their own and others’. The first day after the adventure, I received emails from many of you expressing blog withdrawals. “I’m going to miss the daily ride updates.” Me too…
My brother reminded me that when Forrest Gump reached the ocean, he turned around and ran to the other ocean. Forrest morphed his journey multiple times throughout the movie, but he was always on some journey. And the journey gave him a purpose for his life.
Aren’t we all like Forrest? Don’t we need to be on a journey, don’t we crave purpose in our work and our life? Going to a job each day just to collect a paycheck is never as fulfilling as going to work to accomplish something. “Accomplishing something” is the journey, not the destination.
Here’s what I’ve resolved. My ride was a journey. When I reached the Atlantic Ocean, I reached a destination, but the journey is not over. It is just ready to be morphed, like Forrest Gump’s. Stay tuned…
When I saw the first road kill on Day 1 of the Ride, it occurred to me that I shared the same fragility with animals who braved the journey on the open road. Life can end so quickly without notice. Then I observed the second road kill, and the count was on.
Counting road kill served two purposes over the past 9 weeks:
- It continued to remind me of this vulnerability.
- It kept me focused.
I became fascinated by the types of animals that attempted to cross the road in various regions of the country. As Alan, my Nevada biking buddy, will attest, I literally got off my bike on numerous occasions to examine road kill. In the open range, it was cows, coyotes, wild cats, and deer. In Kansas and Missouri, turtles, snakes, and armadillos. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, raccoons and possum. In New Jersey, mosquitoes. (Here’s a picture of my favorite animal, my dog Elwood!)
As the road kill count (RKC) reached 500, I threw it out to you to see what you thought the final RKC might be. I received guesses that ranged from 800 to 11,000.
The final RKC was 2,058. Della and John Schneck (pictured) from Effingham came the closest with their guess of 2,222. The following 10 people submitted the best guesses. Thanks for being a part of the adventure! I’m sending them each a copy of my new book:
- Della/John Schneck
- Marj Kondo
- Alan Klaassen
- Grace Riddle
- Wendy Pitnatella
- Ellen Coyle
- Jeff Christiansen
- John Waterloo
- Jeff Furnia
- Sandi Pilon
Didn’t win the RKC contest? Here’s another way to get a copy of my new book: tell me what you love about your job.
I’m not suggesting that you have to or even that you do love your job. If you gripe about your job, you’re not alone. Everyone complains about their job. I’m challenging you to describe something that you love about your job. Why did you choose your line of work? What do you look forward to in your job? If you’re currently unemployed or retired, what did you love about your last job?
Tell me about what you love and I’ll send you a signed copy of my new book, Moxie for Managers. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the following:
- Job title
- What you love about your job
- How your boss influences your success
- How you influence others’ success
- Your picture
By popular request, I’m changing the original deadline (which was Sun. July 24) but the other rules outlined in Blog Day 59 still stand. Send me your virtual interview before I reach 1,000 interviews and I’ll mail you a book.
Cathy was one of the first people to send me her virtual interview. Cathy works in professional technical education at Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla WA. Here’s what Cathy shared:
- What do you love about your job? “I love the variety of work. I perform many different tasks usually involving processing paperwork, and I get called upon to troubleshoot or find out things for folks, so it is challenging and rewarding.”
- How does your boss influence your success? “My boss understands me, encourages me, and trusts my judgment with decision making. She is always looking for ways for me to more fully demonstrate my strengths. She challenges me to create goals and examine what drives me, and she is genuinely interested in seeing me succeed. Because of her support, I feel empowered to tackle whatever comes my way.”
- How do you influence other people’s success? “I try to model my boss. I really listen to what others are saying, ask clarifying questions, and am not quick to react. I try to be sensitive to how I can be a positive influence in their life. I encourage and connect people to others who may be able to further them towards their goal.”
Lessons learned: 41
Decrease in property value as a result of parking the RV in front my house for 4 days: 26%