There’s a fire in the wood stove, home-made banana bread in the oven, hot chocolate in my mug, music on the stereo, and a cold wet world outside.  So I’m a happy camper.  It’s amazing how much lower my stress levels are with my new job and working from home.  I got a ton done today, and feel very relaxed.

We have company this week.  An old friend who I hadn’t seen in 6-7 years, and her husband, who I just met last night when they arrived.  We stayed up until 2:30 talking, which was nice.  It was great to see her again, and her husband is very nice.  They are on a totally different path than we are, and it’s hard not to feel the gap sometimes.  I often feel some level of guilt when I see friends who are on a less conventional path.  I feel like I should feel bad for being so happy working in corporate America.  Using my Apple laptop, listening to my Denon, driving my Audi, working on web sites which don’t serve any real purpose beyond making money for a large corporation. But honestly I’m really happy with my life.  I’m glad my wife doesn’t have to work a job she doesn’t like, I’m glad that if we want to we can take a vacation anywhere in the world.  I’ve worked hard for that freedom and the comfort we both enjoy.  I don’t take it for granted.  I try to treat people well, and I wouldn’t work for a product or cause that I felt strongly against, but overall I like what I do, I like how I live.  On one hand I feel guilty for having “bought into the materialistic American push”, but on the other hand having a well-built, reliable, solid, fun car for my wife and I is really nice.  It’s not just this friend, I have other friends who live very differently than we do (homeless, vegans, Buddhists who spend 6 months a year in a silent retreat, poverty-line families with three great kids, and so on) and it’s hard to not feel some guilt for living the way we do.  Of course I also have friends who have close to a million dollars socked away, and run companies, and hang out with the CEOs of major record labels and so on.  But there’s no guilt there:)  Just the occasional envy.  It’s sort of like “white guilt”, it’s a guilt that’s not tied to any shameful actions I’ve taken.

I think the visit will go well regardless.  They have Apple laptops, so they’re obviously good people:)