Home is where my heart is

There is a lot people sacrifice in the name of a career. One wouldn’t think this simple photograph could make me realize just how much is missed, but it did.
I got this photograph, and another just like it (but with more tomatoes), from Annah in an email and then in a text message. The text message with a colander full of tomatoes and giant zucchinis beside them gave me a sinking feeling in my chest. This is the second year in a row I’ve missed the harvesting of the vegetables I spent so much time caring for over the past 4 months. The fruits of my labor are being handed out to neighbors and colleagues at Annah’s work. This is bitter-sweet.
It hit me that one day I might get a text message with a photograph of my newborn child. Maybe I’ll get a video sent to me in an email with my child walking for the first time.
A mentor of mine, Bruce Strong, relayed a message to me recently from his father who always says, “Look at your roles, your goals and then prioritize.” He sounds like a brilliant man.
I saw this quote hanging on a banner today that made me think of my role in life, career…
“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
Serenity, Courage and Wisdom. I could use a little bit more of each.

Posted July 30th, 2008 in Uncategorized.


  1. Tim Gruber:

    very nice harvest there sir korpi!

    my mom just canned 21 quarts of green beans the other day….like you it makes me wonder sometimes if what i’m doing is worth all the sacrifice…what i wouldn’t give some days to work a normal 9-5

  2. Jim Korpi:

    The 9-5 life that existed when our grandparents were getting this country going is no longer in existence. That’s why when the older folks ask, “Why don’t you get a full-time job with some security, benefits…?” That stuff is only there in certain realms of employment. These jobs usually mean sitting on ones a$$ in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day, eating lunch at your desk, surfing the internet and playing solitaire half the time. As Lau would say, “There’s a whole lot of hidden unemployment in this system.”
    Our country needs to realize that the economy has shifted drastically. Manufacturing jobs have drifted to blossoming industrial nations. The service industry and creative entrepreneurial jobs are what we have left to work with. Half of the service industry is going to call centers in India where they ask, “Where are you calling from?” and I answer, “Ohio,” and they reply, “Is ‘dis a state?”
    Sadly our newly graduated workforce is being bogged down with thousands of dollars in college debt that they are frantically searching for the security of the 9-5 economy to help pay back. BUT it’s not there. We must invent this security. This talk about “health care” issues in America is striking the growing self-employed entrepreneur more than anyone else in the country. The wealthy can afford the extra costs just as they can stomach this rising fuel cost. The poor have programs like medicaid, energy relief… The struggling small business owner, which there will be more and more of in the future (which is good), is he who suffers most. A guy told me the other day that in order to hire anyone on to his business he needs to pay $300 a week for the person’s salary and the $280 a week for the person’s insurance. “In a business where the margin is small,” he said “There’s no room for hiring someone. I wouldn’t make any money.”
    So as much as I may complain or dream of the “Simple Life,” I must learn to evolve in this modern economy and work towards being a part of the solution. Join me.

  3. Armand:

    Beautiful post, Jim.

  4. Peter Hoffman:


    You’ve had a little (ok a good bit) more to chew on me with your experience but I am trying to consider the very same things as yourself. Half of me feels like a young buck with an insatiable wanderlust but the other half of me is already getting road weary after this summer of what many would consider low intensity traveling. What to do? I don’t want a 9-5 but I am realizing the importance of “home” … something I haven’t much cared for in the past few years as much as I should have perhaps.

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