As the year closes I am momentarily preempting another wine ramble to share some experience and perspective that intersects both private and public realms, emerging as personally significant if not life changing. In this story is a life lesson about new experiences that are just around the corner and accessible to anyone; experiences that have the potential to become wholly meaningful, but can just as easily disguise themselves so they are rendered unimaginable.
In a year that closes with elements of dreary history for lots of Americans, it also marks a period of time that has encouraged so many of us, including me, to reconnect with their passions and conduct their lives in ways that feel highly authentic and measurably more important. Personally, I have upheld new commitments to my family, in both specific and broad terms, to stay increasingly present and in the moment with them no matter the extent my brutal business travel limits our physical proximity. We make our time together count more than ever, and our time apart less of an impediment to family intimacy. I have stopped postponing for later the conversations and activities that can legitimately create intimacy and connection today.
In my business, blessed with a seat on a management team composed of forward thinking, real, respectful, and practical colleagues, I learned it is possible to stay undeterred by the challenges of an economy climbing out of the brink of disaster by taking one step at a time towards a sensible outcome and horizon, no matter how uncharted the path appears. Together, hundreds of us are recreating a traditional media company rooted in the housing industry and are generating immediate validation and an energy, both inside the company and with our customers, that will drive an incredible outcome that has yet to be authored.
These developments have created the backdrop for “me” to be “me”
And, that (with some urging from colleague, Viralhousingfix author, and social media thought leader Dan McCarthy) begat WineZag. Since May, this thing I started to do for myself, sort of an expression or release valve for my thoughts about the facilitation of wine as a lifestyle component, has become a labor of love and source of inspiration that was simply not apparent to me when I committed back in May. In my entire life, I have never met as many naturally authentic, serious, and passionate people through any one single venue as I have in the wine writer community I am still getting to know as a result of creating WineZag as an extension of “me”. The easy tools of social media have bridged the challenging paths to new connections.
Yesterday, two guys that so many consider to be operating at the pinnacle of the wine writer 2.0 community, Dale Cruse and Robert Dwyer, bestowed an honorable recognition on WineZag by recognizing the blog as one of the best to launch in 2009. Using his remarkably engaging platform “Drinks Are On Me” Dale said:
In the future, we may look back upon 2009 as the year that food and drink blogs finally started to make a difference.
The quality and quantity of writing has never been higher, as evidenced by the blogs listed below. Each of these nine sites began publishing in 2009 and here a few notables explain why these are their favorites.
Robert Dwyer, author of The Wellesley Wine Press , and one of the most practical, down to earth, sensible, and helpful creators of content for the wine enthusiast community had this to say about WineZag:
Just a real honest collection of writing from someone with a long history with wine that likes to share his passion with the world
In Robert’s short sentence, three words captured the essence of the learning I referred to at the start of this post. Honest. Real. Passion. The words have become tenets for a new outlook born out of 2009’s era of dwindling hope and despair for many. They are not dependent on employment, market indices, access to credit, or any of the other hurdles or shortages we are adapting to as 2009 comes to a close. They are available to most of us, and represent hope and joy, and a real chance to blaze important new personal and professional paths.
It feels like a trivial oversimplification to think that family adjustments, innovative business approaches, wine, social media, writing, and powerful dashes of honesty, passion, and authenticity (to taste) can offer the profound rewards that I am inferring is possible. They did for me.
I love wine because it is a lubricant for human connection. I enjoy the media business because it is completely dependent on constructive human interaction. Writing is a tool for connection. Social media puts the tool on steroids. And finally and ultimately for me, the people most important to me live under the same roof that covers the house that I call home, even when I am not there.
It only took a one line summary of how a community of wine enthusiasts interprets my body of writing to come face to face with the lessons I have been learning all year-long submitting to honesty, passion, and authenticity in all aspects of life. Try it, I promise you will like it. And, Happy Holidays.