Earlier this year I had to research Napa Valley for work, so when we visited San Francisco, I was hoping we'd have time to squeeze in a day trip. I don't know much about wine except that I like to drink it, so my main objective was choosing a place with nice views. We decided on Newton Vineyard in St. Helena.
Most of the wineries in Napa are on the valley floor, but Newton is terraced along a hillside. Apparently this is an advantage because the different elevations have an effect on the way each plot of grapes will grow. But I think the best thing about Newton was that it felt very quiet and remote - a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of the big name wineries along the main highway through the valley.
Newton's founder was English, so the grounds have a few signature touches to reflect that, like beautifully landscaped gardens, roses, and a London phone booth.
Being in this beautiful setting and seeing the staff's excitement about the harvest and their passion about the crops and vineyard gave me pause. I often daydream about having a job where my mind is not the primary resource. It's not that I don't like using my mind - I think it's more that the way we structure most professional work is too rigid and demanding for genuine creativity or enthusiasm about the work itself to survive (unless being a workaholic brings you joy).
Physical work has its challenges too, and now that I'm getting to an age where overexerting myself has more obvious consequences, I'm not sure how I'd hold up to a career based on intense physical activity. But still, there will always be something appealing about work that seems simple but allows your mind to roam a little more freely.
Sometimes I think I've made the wrong choice by trying to make a career out of a skill that I genuinely enjoy. That might just be a sign that I need to find a better way to use my skills on my own terms. Or maybe it's better to view work only as a means to an end so you can save your energy for what you really care about. I don't know what the answer is, but I can tell I'm on the cusp of some growing pains.
On that note, I'm way behind on following everyone's posts but hope to get caught up soon. Tonight I am going to be happy that I managed to finish writing something and spend some time on photos, but I think I should get some sleep to try to be a functional human again.