Connecting the Dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”  ~ Steve Jobs

I know it’s been a long time since my last post – a lot has happened since then. Much has changed and it has been a pretty rocky summer for me and my family. But I will get to that here in a little bit. What’s weighing heavy on my mind right at this moment is the death of Steve Jobs, and my reaction to it. Granted, if my family had a common religion, it would be Mac. In our household alone, we have a total of four “living” Macs, two iPods, three Nanos, three iPhones (soon to be four next Friday, when my younger son gets his), one Apple TV, and several “vintage” Macs in our basement. My mother is on her third Mac. My dad and brother both have Macs and iPhones, etc. Over the years, we’ve watched Steve’s keynote speeches as if they were sermons, waiting to be amazed and delighted by his newest idea. We were never disappointed. One example that comes to mind is the emergence of “FaceTime” on our iPhones last summer. I will never forget the first time I used it to see to my sweet baby niece, face to face, across the miles, and watch her crawl across my brother’s kitchen floor. I missed her so much, and there she was in the palm of my hand. I was smiling so hard, my cheeks started to hurt. It meant the world to me. Only one of the many, many things I have to thank Steve Jobs for.

Nonetheless, I didn’t actually know the man, so I couldn’t understand why when my 14-year old came down to tell me the news last night, I burst into tears as if I’d lost a close family member. Even this morning, I’m tearing up at the thought of it. But after watching the video of his commencement speech to Stanford several years ago, and pondering the above quote from that speech, I’m starting to realize that the death of one of my family’s heros is more or less a culmination of all the changes that we’ve gone through this summer and now we’re left with, well, connecting the dots.

At the end of June, we shut down our business after nine years. The time had come to move on. We could no longer compete with the online companies, and we were sick of killing ourselves trying. What’s more, we found that we had changed, and we need to shake free of the shop in order to move on to bigger and better things. But that didn’t make it easier when we were packing up the place to move out. I found such items as coloring books, old gameboys, grade school worksheets, and Legomen – reminding me that my boys had grown up there as we struggled to run a business. And as it so happens, my older son was starting his senior year in high school and my younger one was going to be a freshman. My babies were all but grown up. Would it have gone any slower if we didn’t have the shop, if I’d stayed home baking cookies? Absolutely not. But it still felt like (and FEELS like) time had somehow run away from me while I wasn’t paying enough attention. In the all the activity and chaos of raising a family, running a business and trying to stay somewhat sane, I’d forgotten how quickly things could, and would, change. Businesses shut down. Children grow up. Goals change. Nothing stays the same.

Heroes don’t live forever.

So – what’s next? I made a promise to myself when the business closed, I would focus more on my writing. I took the summer to decompress, but now I’m ready to make that happen. There are a lot of dots in our life that still need connecting, but I’ve chosen to trust the Universe and know that we will figure it all out exactly when we are supposed to.

In the meantime, I will take Steve’s advice. I will not settle. I will stay hungry, and stay foolish. And someday, I’ll be able to connect the dots.

Thanks for everything, Steve. We will miss you.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coffeegirl88
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 18:03:43

    Great to see you blogging again.

    For as much as I hit media saturation about Jobs last night, there have been a couple of quotes (most of which you put on FB) that really have my mind spinning. I’m right here with y’a on the writing thing, which you also know. I seem to have hit a place this summer where I’ve taken in info that have been churning in the back of my mind. Not sure what it all mean yet, but I suspect it’s something wonderful.

    So you’re doing NaNo yes? I plan to, need to, just don’t ask how this month’s plan it coming yet.

  2. Karen
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 22:22:30

    Sad here at our house too.

    We’re all Mac as well (except for the netbook we tuck in a dusty corner when Jeff has to connect to his work computer). And tho’ I didn’t watch the keynotes, Jeff shut himself up at work to do so and reported excitedly back.
    We converted both my parents, my sister and my in-laws (father, mother and sister-in-laws).

    I loved your tally. Here’s ours (I don’t know all their exact names):
    2 MacBooks
    1 Mac Desktop
    1 Apple TV
    2 Internet things
    3 older versions laying about (we gave away 2 aging laptops this last year and have been through several before that)
    2 iPhones
    1 iPad
    2 iTouches
    1 nano
    2 older iPods

  3. kimberlyfoley
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 23:05:34

    Karen – I thought of you when I heard the news as well, knowing that yours was a household of macheads as well.

    Cyn – NaNo? Hmmmm … You know, I may participate in a nonconventional kind of way. I’ll get back to you on that one. And of course I’m ready to cheer you on!

  4. coffeegirl88
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 15:38:22

    I don’t think I’ve ever followed the “rules” of NaNo. I’m just aiming for 250 pages of something I didn’t haven’t on October 31st.

  5. Trackback: Day 17: Why & When Did I Start Blogging? | Kimberly Foley

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