I spent all of last week in Lihue, Hawaii, with the Automattic Theme Division. We’re growing — 14 employees currently make up the group and we’re looking to hire more people — but make time to meet in person at least once annually and talk about high level objectives for the year.
Of all the Theme Team and Theme Division meetups I’ve been to so far since beginning my work at Automattic, Lihue has been my favorite, hands down. The weather was spectacular throughout the entire week, the stars shone more brightly than in any location I’ve ever been (although, the Catskills do come close), and the chats I had with teammates over dinner, getting to know them beyond the work that we do, really was quite lovely.
I’ve made a few very close friends at Automattic and know that whatever happens down the road, I’ll always be thankful that my career choices have brought them into my life. It’s easy to grow cynical, jaded, frustrated, and tired of the people and politics in my industry, but when I take time to meet people face-to-face, talk about life that exists away from the computer screen, and spend a few moments appreciating the good instead of the bad, everything feels much better.
Life is so short and when my time is up I’ll look back to these moments with a joyous heart, and will only focus on the wonderful memories that were shared in far away places with like-minded individuals. Everything else will fade away into the background.