This week marks six months since I ended my run at Mapbox. “What have I been up to?”, he asked rhetorically.

Most notably, I’ve not been “working” in the traditional sense of the word. I’ve been taking this time to unplug a bit, at least from desk work after twenty years, and to think about what I want to be doing for the next little stretch.

I’ve been doing a lot of stuff on my van, a 1985 VW Vanagon. This has been a literal and figurative vehicle for learning many things in which I’ve wanted to dabble for a long while. In a lot of ways, it’s like programming, with the additions that I’m usually filthy and sore at the end of the day.

In no particular order, I’ve been learning about and experimenting with:

  • welding and metal fabrication
  • plywood construction
  • plumbing
  • DC circuitry, deep cycle batteries, and solar charging
  • propane fitting
  • basic vehicle mechanics, including fuel line, pump, and filter replacement and adaptation
  • serving on nonprofit boards
  • creating nonprofits
  • angel investing
  • charitable giving constructs like lead and remainder trusts and donor advised funds
  • tax planning
  • commercial real estate
  • paid photography gigs
  • using an iPad as a primary computing device now that I don’t spend time in Xcode

There are probably a few things I’m leaving out, too.

One of the biggest adjustments has been becoming ok with not necessarily having a “next thing” lined up yet. It’s a challenge both mentally as well as socially. And it’s an exercise in patience. I realize that I am very fortunate to be able to take this time, too.

That said, if you know of any interesting opportunities, get in touch! You can find my résumé and contact info if you so desire. I’ve been talking to a few folks about some slow-boil projects but am still pretty flexible.

My current thinking is that I will allow myself one month of break per year at my last job, which puts me at about another month to go.

But I’m being flexible about that.