Ed: Sydney Chaney Thomas is a Moraga-based writer and businesswoman with three books to her name, all currently available on Amazon. She is also co-founder of a sustainable sailing apparel company called Ocean SF, and operates a nonprofit that works to reduce plastic waste called the The Trident Project.
Sydney teaches entrepreneurial marketing at UC Berkeley in their International Diploma Program and, in addition to this column, she writes a popular lifestyle blog, which can be found at sydneychaneythomas.com.
Transition, Work & Motherhood
December 2, 2018
Recently, I’ve been sitting in the stands watching our family friend play college basketball. Austin Clarke, also known as “Aussie” is Marty Clarke’s son. Marty coached the St. Mary’s basketball team and Austin moved across the world from Australia with his family to play for Campolindo High School.
While waiting for the team to warm up I thought about the first time I watched Austin play basketball. Campolindo was in the championship games that year and I sat in the stands with my daughter. I was a different person then. I was married and for lack of a better term a “house wife,” although I had a small marketing company and did many websites and newsletters, I never failed to get dinner on the table and the laundry done. My work and personal interests came dead last in my daily list of priorities.
The next time I saw Austin on a basketball court was at Cal. I sat in the stands with my daughter, and Austin’s family. I was a recent widow. My heart was broken and I watched the game as if in slow motion. The team ran from one end of the court to the other as if in a time delay. Austin, as was fitting for this period, was injured and on the bench. Even though he didn’t play his sunny smile never faltered.
Two years later, I’m sitting peacefully in the auditorium at Sonoma State watching Austin’s team play San Francisco State. They win easily by 20 points. Austin shoots three pointers elegantly into the basket as his High School coach looks on. I’m by myself this time as my daughter is away at college now and Austin’s family has since returned to Australia. Austin was in the Bay Area with his team from Southern California playing in a tournament.
I’m a completely different person now. My company is getting ready to launch, my children will soon both be in college, I rarely cook dinner, and the kids do their own laundry. I’m on the cusp of so many good things that I can hardly sleep at night. My family is happy and everyone is in forward motion.
It’s true that nothing stays the same. Change is the only constant. Except for Austin. He’s simply always been a joy to watch.
Sydney Chaney Thomas