The Surfing Life

My father Don S. Standen died this month 20 years ago. My father never tried to shape me in any way. He gave me total freedom to grow in any direction, like a tree. I'm not saying that's a good approach to raising a child, but it's definitely not a bad way to raise a child. When I was eleven years old I was struck by a debilitating childhood illness which lasted six more years. One night I was lying in the hospital bed in dreadful condition all alone in the middle of the night awake, and I said to myself, "If I ever get outta here, I'm going to do whatever I want in life, with no regrets and never look back" or something to that effect, and it's funny and odd and poignant how that epiphany was completely consistent with my father's aforementioned approach to raising me, as if he had actually prepared me for this difficult period in my life. I did recover physically, finally, although spiritually you never recover from a multi-year ordeal like that (even if you think you have, you are probably just not aware how deep the permanent scars go). I recovered, went to California, and became a surfer, a real surfer, and I adopted the "surfing outlook" as my raison d'etre for the rest of my life (although I had actually adopted the surfer outlook as my raison d'etre back in that hospital room that night, and stepping into the life of a surfer was like coming home to my own life from the very first time I fell off the surfboard!). 

My new role at Robin Systems is exactly that same experience of the exhilaration of catching a wave that started as a side effect of some storm raging in the far Pacific, then rolled across thousands of miles as barely a ripple, then finally came home to shore and rose up to be a rideable breaking wave, except this wave, hopefully, and I believe so, and more importantly will give my all as a free person, to make it an endless wave, will be an amazing ride into an Endless Summer.