Friday, December 31, 2010

The Next Open Door

I waited until the last day of 2010 to write this post for a reason. This year I've done something that I've never done -- allow the year to wind itself down gracefully and slowly ... not a frantic push to the end. Really, the last day of the year is no different than any other day, a rising and setting of the sun as we fly through space. But we all enjoy new beginnings, we all love moving forward, we all look ahead to our next adventure.

It is easy now to look at 2010 as linear time and see how one moment led to the next, but as I lived it in real time I could see no further than the next door in front of me. A few events rise to the surface as I look back.

Early this year I was granted a seemingly out-of-the-blue opportunity to go to a Jenn-Air event in Atlanta: a little product explanation, a little hands-on cooking, a nice weekend in a nice city. It ended up being a great opportunity for me, both personally and professionally. What started small ended with an invitation for me to serve on Jenn-Air's Design Advisory Council with an incredible group of professionals from all over the country.

I took advantage of an unscheduled meeting with a stranger and was able to help her out; from this I gained not only a friend but insight into someone else's life and situation.

I was granted occasions to mentor people and in the process, encountered people with great knowledge and wisdom who, in return, mentored me.

I used my skills as a designer and project manager at an orphanage in Mexico and found new inspiration and an added sprinkling of excitement about what I do.

I spent most of the month of November moving my shop. It's amazing how much you can accumulate over five years and 7,000 square feet and to say that moving a shop that size was a monumental task is an understatement. Plus, it was a little dusty. The move allows me to work even closer with my cabinet maker, who is also a great and trusted friend.

In the beginning these things all seemed very random but with the advantage of time I see they have one thing in common: each little door led to a new adventure and tied my life to the lives of others.

Life is about the choices you make. Sometimes the most random opportunity is the one that takes you in a whole other direction and ends up being the clarifying act as you move forward professionally or personally. I borrowed the title of my final 2010 blog post from a video documentary featuring singer/songwriter and recording artist Lionel Cartwright. The video is not long - about 15 minutes. In these last few moments of 2010, turn off the noise around you, let the year end gracefully, watch the video and think about your own world creatively, personally, professionally. What is your next open door?

The filmmaker, Aaron Williams is my son. Happy New Year!!!!