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Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Department of Change is going unchanged

That was then and this is the new now.

By Dave Newport

Call it a sabbatical, reformation, or welcome relief from drivel. But one of us—me—is going to try some of the approaches described in previous blogs; most notable being last year’s post “Fear and Happiness in Music City.” That piece looked at sustainabilistas’ most worrisome trend: work-life balance and the pursuit of happiness.

So I am taking some time off from this blog and other activities.

This sabbatical comes on the heels of my recent pulmonary embolism, a condition that strikes 650,000 Americans/year. 200,000 die, 11% in the first hour, 30% don’t make it to the diagnosis.

I dodged a bullet. I could have easily been subtracted from the planet’s carbon footprint. Can’t help but wonder why I was not. And the questions just keep coming after that one.

Whatever the answers, it is clear that Book One of Dave Newport's Life is written and closed. All I have achieved and am proud of in that life is old news. Been there, done that. Happy for all that’s happened. But that Book could easily have been the only one, story over, no more nothing. Whatever my life was going to count for would have been summed up in Book One.

But that was then and this is the new now. What's next? Book Two began just days ago. And now that I am living bonus days, what is the new mission statement?

To explore that question I am reevaluating the blog and other writing ventures, looking more closely at how I move forward with the best sustainability job in the US, and other career/life choices that have been designed to leave behind a better planet.

Obviously, kids and loved ones are the most important things any of us can leave behind. Indeed: work-schmurk. The question is how to enhance the quality of our time as a family now—and our legacy later.

This blog has a small, dedicated and very sharp group of readers. I learn so much from the many emails I get with each new blog. I suspect many of you have perspectives and observations that would be helpful in re-thinking the way forward. If you are of a mind to share, please feel free to send them to me at my private email address here. They will remain confidential.

In the meantime, I think I share this perspective with most people in the sustainability business: everything is connected, everything has a reason, everything has a meaning. Understanding the connections, reasons, and meaning is what we are supposed to be good at. Perhaps that's Book Two.




  1. James Lovelock has some advice for you......

  2. Dave, you strike me as someone who has known for a long time how to live life to its fullest. You surely have every reason to be proud of Book One. If you figure out how to live life even better in Book Two, share your wisdom with the rest of us.

    Godspeed, indeed.

  3. I have learned so much from you and your experiences in Book One. Those of us that love you the most are excited for you to start Book Two, however it ends up looking for you.

  4. Keep on trucking Dave, wishing you a full and speedy recovery. I have no doubt Book 2 will be amazing, whatever it may be. For now, get well. Carol R. in Boston