The human capacity for endurance is truly remarkable. As I click away at my second book – so much fun I can’t tell you – it’s crazy to think that I wrote and published the first one while consulting and writing five columns a week. I haven’t a clue how I managed to pull that off. Hell, I can’t even fathom how I wrote column after column for nine years without so much as a break.

At this point, I can tell you: I really must have needed this break. So did my wife. These past three months she’s been working feverishly on an intensive sommelier program at the International Culinary Center. While she’s been learning, reading, studying and tasting practically 24×7, I’ve been holding down the fort around here. Her certification test is a week from today. I know she’ll pass, but still holding my breath.

When I think back, I don’t know how I survived 23 years in the high-stress tech industry. Sure, it was fun, but it was also grueling at times – often for long stretches. The travel alone was brutal. Millions of air miles. A blur of countless customer meetings, negotiations, conferences, trade shows and press tours. Back at the office, the back-to-back-to-back internal meetings and presentations were no picnic either.

And yet, I somehow managed the chaos. I guess we all do. That’s just who we are. How do we do it? One day at a time. One mile at a time. One event at a time.

Jackson Browne’s song “Running on Empty” comes to mind:

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
Look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

The thing is, my wife and I are not youngsters. By rights, we should be starting to wind down about now. Maybe someday, but not today. Not yet. Not by a long shot. How about you?

P.S. I first saw Jackson Browne play in ’74. He’s still running on empty today.

Image credit Ashley Hoff via Flickr