Quite often I am asked if I miss working for the New England Patriots. I get varying responses to my answer, “Not for one second.” Most people prod a little deeper with a follow up, “But you have to miss it sometimes, it must have been so much fun.” I get why people who haven’t lived it do not fully grasp why anyone would leave a team job, especially if they were a fan. The fact of the matter is, I don’t view it like most people. The continued questioning often triggers the line from Don Henley’s The Boys of Summer, “Don’t look back, you can never look back.” Sometimes I even sing it to the inquisitor, although, I do explain as well.
The reason I do not miss working for the Patriots is that I got my fill. I had my share, and that will always be a part of my life, even though I am not currently involved. I did it for nine seasons, almost a decade. It’s a chapter in my life that is complete, a great chapter, and one that I can reflect upon as great times and valuable experiences. It’s not dissimilar from the first part of my career in radio and TV. I loved the hustle and bustle of the broadcast business and the daily pace of producing new shows. The creativity that came with it was very fun and exciting. I love those experiences, but have no desire to go back and do it again. I did that for almost a decade as well, and I got my fill.
My grandmother always said that too much of a good thing is not good. She was so dead on. I love ice cream, but would never want to work in an ice cream shop. Sure, prior to gaining the first 10 pounds I would have thought I was in the best job ever. But at some point, the stickiness and the sweet smell would become overbearing, and what was once a favorite treat of mine would become something that literally left a bad taste in my mouth. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. When I was with the Patriots, we went to and won three Super Bowls. I know this will make many people crazy, but the third one was a bit anticlimactic, and definitely not as enjoyable as the first two. In fact, I left Jacksonville and took my family to Disney World, skipping the parade at home in Boston. I had my fill.
There wasn’t much more for me to do for the Patriots. I gave all of me, every single day, and there is no question what we achieved on the business side, and what I was responsible for. Mission accomplished. I wrote a post about why I left the Patriots (click here to read) that frames up what propelled me to leave. I write this post almost six years later to say that not only do I not “look back” and miss it, I am still very happy about the decision. My advice to anyone who has been in a job for a while, no matter what the job, is that it may be time to move on. You, too, may have had your fill, and are only holding on because you are comfortable and safe. The question I ask is, “Are you happy?” Comfortable and safe are only good when the other emotion they evoke is happiness.
The hardest thing to recognize for many is when it’s time to move on. Remember the words of my grandmother, and realize too much of something good is often too much. It quite often leads to you becoming stagnant and unsatisfied. Change can be difficult to face, but if you evolve, you should seize the opportunity and never look back, because then you can possess the past while experiencing the adventure of your future. If you give your all to your new path, you won’t miss the past for one second.