Tom Petty is one of my favorite musicians (RIP) and his music continues to be part of my life’s soundtrack. I chose “Into The Great Wide Open” as the title for this piece, because it fits perfectly with my current phase in life.

Into The Great Wide Open…
A couple of months ago I took a huge leap of faith and left a job that was not a good fit, without having another job lined up. I tend to live my life by intuition and things usually work out just fine. I have had some wild adventures because of my choices, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I did recently land a fantastic job that is a great fit for my skill set, but more on that later. Grin.

Under A Sky Of Blue…
Sonoma County is a beautiful place to live and has been my home since 1981, when I moved here from Los Angeles. I fell into the wine industry not long after I moved here. It’s been a wine-drenched love affair ever since.

Into The Great Wide Open…
It was terrifying and exhilarating to leave a job like that, without having a backup plan. I do have side jobs, though and that helps – I am enjoying a 12-year stint as an editorial contributor for Wine Country This Week Magazine and have other side projects as well, but I’ve always had a full time winery day job of some sort.

Being underemployed over 50 has been illuminating. Maybe ageism does exist in the wine industry. Is 35 years of related experience threatening? Is anyone else out there struggling with this?

I sent out dozens of resumes and worked my LinkedIn profile like a boss, with disappointing results. I applied for jobs that I was definitely qualified for, and waited, and waited…can you hear the crickets?

It was depressing. Other than paid assignments with deadlines, I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t exercising, I was compulsively checking my phone for emails and voicemails, I was drinking more wine than usual, in general, I wasn’t using my time as productively as I could have been. I’m like my cattle dog, Lola – I need to be busy and productive or I get a little blue.

A Rebel Without A Clue…
My leap of faith paid off, big time.
One of the resumes I sent did get immediate results – I was recently hired as the Wine Department Director for the Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg and it’s a perfect fit for my skill set. I just started there and I love it. I’m using my palate to choose wines for the store, my writing ability to write up tasting notes and shelf talkers and my sales ability to interact with customers and guide them to wines that they will really enjoy. I think I may have died and gone to heaven. If you are ever in Healdsburg, come by, say hi and grab a sandwich to enjoy on the patio at Oakville Grocery. I’ll help you pick out your wine. 🙂