Serendipity in Site: Choosing for Good
Dennis Pitocco

Car-Chasing is a totally natural behavior for a dog, as a dog’s natural instinct is to chase anything that moves, be it a cat, rabbit, a jogger, or a bike. … But what happens after all the years of chasing if the dog actually catches the car? What’s next? Well, the analogy works here, because my wife Ali and I faced the very same question over a decade ago after chasing our
respective careers up and down the proverbial corporate ladder for many years only to arrive at the intersection of “too young to retire” and what’s next?”

Indeed, blessed with enough economic success from it all, we had the opportunity to step back and choose how, where, and when we wanted to invest our time, our talent, and our treasure. At the same time, we had a keen appreciation for the fact that few people are lucky enough to have such an opportunity, hence; the need to take our time to fully consider what the future might hold. And to make sure that whatever direction we headed, we were heading “for good”.

As with all of our important life decisions, we debated, discussed, and decided our way forward over the course of our ritualistic morning walks —away from all the noise and distractions of daily life. We spoke of what mattered the most to us and equally, how we could best leave a legacy “for good”. We spoke of the ripple effect of our choices on others. We spoke of the need to find the right balance between our passion and our overall well-being. Over the course of several months, our chosen path began to emerge —taking us in a number of complementary directions versus heading down a single road.

When the dust settled, our compass ultimately pointed us in three directions, each sustainable simultaneously. First; we wanted to roll up our sleeves and truly “serve” or “give-back in a meaningful way; second, we wanted to move beyond the shallow business-driven travel of our past (airport/meeting/airport) to what can best be described as intentional travel —truly discovering the world (beyond the USA); and third, we wanted to keep our minds active in a meaningful way (well-beyond any notion of crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc.). And to the extent possible, we wanted our choices to prevail over the long term in harmony with each other, versus
as “either-or” options.

Our desire to give back began with a hands-on commitment to an increasing number of nonprofits across our community. This took the form of delivering meals to seniors, cleaning stables at a local farm dedicated to equine therapy, office volunteering, serving meals at a homeless shelter, actively serving on local Boards of directors, and more. Added to that was the opportunity to act upon our desire to help those in need during natural disasters, by participating in hours of training to become part of the American Red Cross Disaster Recovery Team, poised to respond to local, national, and international disasters. We learned very quickly how relatively little time and effort can quickly make such a big difference to so many.

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