San Francisco & The Not So Empty Nest

San Francisco, December 2020

It’s Christmas Eve and I woke up to crisp white sheets and a beautiful view of the sunrise. I made an expresso and reflected on the year behind me. I have to say I have never been happier. I have not experienced this much change since leaving for college at eighteen. Everything has changed from where I open my eyes, to where I park my car, to the things I do all day. One of the new things I did this year was teach Business Negotiating at UC Berkeley on campus. What I learned was never tell your students everything is negotiable. I had so many emails from them trying to negotiate their grade my mailbox was full. Some to them even text messaged me. Next time I will preface that grades in my class are NOT negotiable. So, that was a first.

My apartment in San Francisco has been extremely full this December and living on the 16th floor feels very much like a nest so it is an accurate metaphor empty or full. I can even see birds flying below my window. My apartment is a sanctuary in the bustling city full of so many contrasts and elements. There is so much to digest just walking down the street here where there are people from every walk of life. The other day I helped a man with one leg across the street. The funny thing was he was smoking a joint. The city is full of this type of cognitive dissonance.

“Much Appreciated,” he said when I left him.

It’s been an incredibly busy year teaching at Berkeley and working to redefine my vision for Ocean SF. Yesterday, I was at my factory for the first time in months. I am getting orders on my website and have sold into a store for the first time. Once again I am putting money into production and hoping for the best. Ocean SF was launched at the worst possible time in history. As it was beginning to gain momentum we went into lock-down due to the pandemic and now I am in an environment where most of my profits are diluted due to inflation and the rising cost of labor and materials, but still I will not give up. It’s something I promised myself when I started. I knew that the only thing I really had to do to be successful was never give up.

If you keep going you can be Nike. If you give up you’re just like everyone else. This is what I remind myself daily.

I’ve been reading about the mathematics of the universe and the stability of the square or the number 4. The number 4 represents thoughtful analysis, tactful behavior, orderliness and careful planning. I think this is the foundation of running a business, so these are the things I will be focusing on in 2023.

Living in San Francisco has had an unexpected benefit that has surprised me. People call randomly because they are in the city and want to see you. I have been extremely social with old friends. The daughter of one of our family friends dropped by a few nights ago. I had not seen her in years. My daughters school friends are constantly coming and going as the city attracts them. All of this and I’ve made a nice little group of new friends. It’s been a very fun and social period for me with a very full nest.

I can’t tell you how blessed I feel this Christmas Eve. It is not what I expected, but it is better than good.

Love and blessings to all.

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