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The Importance and Value of Relationships, Community and Balance in Life


In my personal blog, I have written extensively about the changes I am making to the way I live my life.  Many of the changes that I have made and continue to make revolve around my journey to seek balance in my life.  

To make a long story short, several years ago, back in 2010, I was living a completely different lifestyle.  At that time, I was working 60+ hours a week on average and traveling extensively for work.  Living the life of a road warrior, I regularly ate fast food and at restaurants.  I drank and smoked heavily.  I was taking my employees and clients out regularly – because “that’s what managers do.” Without going into great detail, the year of 2010 was the first year of what would become an incredible transition in my life.  For the first time in years, I decided to use some of my vacation time.  In the past, I would collect it and simply cash out at the end of the year.  I was always “too busy” to take vacation.  There was work to be done and damn it – I was the man to do it!  However, several years of this hectic lifestyle had me feeling burnt out. Not only did I feel like I needed a vacation, but it was suggested that I take one.


I scheduled some time off to visit with friends at an old-time music festival in June of 2010.  Later on that month was the bachelor party for one of my best friends, who was getting married later that year in September.  As I reconnected with old friends, I began to realize that there was more to life than climbing the corporate ladder and achieving what society deemed to be “success.”  In my efforts to grow my career and “succeed” in life – I began to forget about certain aspects of my personal life.During the months of July and August, the stress of life and the work environment had gotten increasingly worse.  I decided to put in extra time to “make up” for the time I had previously taken off.  I also wanted to put in extra time to prepare for the upcoming long weekend for my best friend’s wedding in September.

This was the first time in my life I was involved in someone’s wedding.  Again, I felt as though these moments were the special moments that were truly important in life.I began to recognize the importance and value of relationships in life.  While we always talked about the value of relationships at work and through our leadership training…it always seemed false.  The relationships we engaged in on that professional level were strategic and a means to an end.  Comparatively speaking, the relationships that I witnessed and built during that year in my personal life contributed to my realization that most of the relationships in my professional life were simply nothing more than a facade in an effort to improve and grow the “bottom line.”


The wedding weekend was the pivotal moment where I truly realized the importance and value of relationships in life. It was during this weekend where I watched one of my best friends transition into being a husband.  Moreover, I reconnected with an old friend from years past.  We both showed up at the wedding single without dates.  We split the cost of the rental car and the wedding gifts.  We also spent a considerable amount of time together learning about each other and the direction our lives had taken us over the past 10 years.  We began forming a relationship of our own during that weekend.As this relationship continued to grow over the next few months, we began spending more and more time together and I began to realize that there was much more to life than the growth and development of my career.

I began to realize that the growth and development of my own life, and more specifically the relationships in my life, was considerably more rewarding than anything I’d ever experienced on the professional level.  It was remarkable. This initiated a number of significant life changes, ultimately beginning with the resignation of my current management position.During the past few years, I had worked hard, paid down my debt, and paid off my school loans.  Moreover, I had built up a fair amount of savings and, ironically enough, the savings that I had earned and built was just enough to fund a move across the country.  My girlfriend and I decided that in order to move forward with the growth and development of our relationship, it was beneficial to be with each other.

It made more sense for me to move, as the company I worked for had operations in Southern California (where she lived) and I would likely be able to make a lateral move out there and join our Western Operations.  This is precisely what I did in March of 2011.I share all this with you as the reader to encourage the importance of interpersonal relationships in all aspects of life.  Working to find the balance between relationships on the professional level and the personal level was something that I found myself trying to do.  Besides trying to grow and develop an intimate relationship on a personal level, I was trying to grow and develop new relationships on a professional level as well.  Moreover, I was trying to make friends and reach out in ways that I had previously failed to do.

In the past, I was too preoccupied with climbing the corporate ladder and growing my career to focus on much of anything else.  The new relationship helped me understand that it was necessary to find balance not only in relationships but in all aspects of life.  As I moved away from my family, I realized how important they were to me.  I began to realize that my career, while important – did not dominate my life in the way that I once thought it had.I also began to realize that the more I learned about myself, the more I remembered how important spirituality was to me.  My love life was a no brainer, that was the big driver behind the realization of all these other things.  Trying to form a new community was important to me and ultimately I was taking strides towards improving my health and well-being.  I had quit smoking cigarettes soon after the wedding in September and by the time I arrived in California – I was a non-smoker!

While 2010 may have been the culmination of stress in my life to date…the year 2011 was the year I began to understand the importance of balance in life.As we continue this journey together, you will learn much about the transitions that have taken place in my life as I struggle to find that balance.  My journey to find balance includes stories about health and wellness, homesteading, outdoor activities, politics and economics.  The tactical and firearms element will be the least of what I can contribute to this website, but based on what I have seen thus far, there are several columnists and contributors who specialize in this arena and are much better suited to speak about these topics.  I hope to learn from them and increase my knowledge and skill set accordingly.

It is my hope that my life experiences to date and the way in which I choose to share them with you all here will be of benefit to you that read these blog posts.  I am humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to share my life with you and I look forward to the path that we will all walk together as we grow and develop the relationships and our community here on The Brink of Freedom.

Stay tuned.

About Rob Kaiser

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Rob Kaiser currently works on the sales team for one of the principal wholesale growers of quality nursery stock in Ohio. This locally owned and family-based operation encompasses approximately 160 acres consisting of field production, 15 acres of container stock, and over an acre of frames. He also works as the manager of York Meadow Farm and is the founder/owner of Deliberate Living Systems, an design and consulting operation in Medina, Ohio. Rob has a diverse and comprehensive background gained through 15 years in the green industry, focused on retail and wholesale nursery and garden center operations, landscaping and grounds management. Experience also includes utility and urban forestry, vegetation management, landscape design, outdoor recreation and organic farming. Rob is a member of International Society of Arboriculture and maintains his Certified Arborist/Utility Specialist certification. He is also a North Carolina Certified Plant Professional and has attended a Landscape Design Short Course at Cleveland State University. Recently, he has taken Geoff Lawton's Online Permaculture Design Course and a Restoration Agriculture workshop, hosted by Mark Shepard. Rob is located in Medina County, Ohio and is taking deliberate action and implementing all knowledge gained through a land lease with farm that he helps manage. All work is being documented development with the objective of demonstrating how to create a scalable, sustainable and beautiful sanctuary utilizing permaculture principles *without* owning land. Documentation will likely take place through a blog and podcast in an effort to share the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to live our dreams and exceed our own expectations.

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  1. Good Luck in your journey Rob! It’s interesting to hear other people’s take on what “success” means to them.

    • Profile photo of

      Thank you, Sean. I sincerely appreciate you taking time out of your day to read this. I wish you the best of luck on your journeys as well and hope that we keep in touch wherever our individual successes lead us.

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