The intricacies and complexities of life are enough to keep me entrenched, busy, satisfied,dissatisfied, and most often happily exhausted on any given 'normal' day. However, the past 8 weeks have been a condensed existential experience that I can only explain as being akin to having mental sardines packed a little too tightly.
Nonetheless, they have beenwondrous. Life, with its never endingcacophonyof unexpected melodies, is very beautiful to the curious - even in moments of tragedy, sadness and despair.
Today I can rest. I'm spending the day chillaxing in bed sipping lattes, with the laptop, Chanel and Nena, writing LinkedIn recommendations, catching up on email, managing a spontaneously contrived disaster relief Facebook pageand watching a Mad Men marathon on Netflix - because 9/11 coverage would be the contraindicatedproverbialstraw on the camel's back right now - though I did catch Paul Simon and it was lovely and touching.
And now about those 8 weeks.
I wondered how much more organizational pain could be absorbed and dealt with - without something giving, as I left for Boston to meet the city for the very first time and catch up with an Air Force friend I hadn't seen in 28 years over the 4th of July. We spent fair weather days rehashing old memories, funny and sad stories and catching up on decades of life, and nights under the rockets' red glare of fireworks over river parties. An email that Tuesday morning confirmed a 'recommendation' had been made to eliminate my portion of the organization's work plan 'sometime soon' - and with it my job. I could have turned my back and walked away, but I believed in the work I was doing and I decided to take the risk that a soon to occur regime change would never allow that to happen - eyes wide open.
August 9, another Tuesday exactly one month later, the pages of months to the end of the year were definitivelytorn from the calendar. I had three weeks to execute a transition, close up shop and extract myself in a tidy fashion. We sat theresolemnlystaring at one another. Another intrapreneurial position like this one would be next to impossible to find.I emailed my business contacts to prepare them for my departure and stopped on the way home at Barnes and Nobles to purchase Alan Weiss' book The Consulting Biblefor inspiration and perspective. I owned my career and I was making a decision to return to work on my terms and my terms alone. I was rejoining the 1099 movement.
I shutdown, turned off, wrapped up and delegated projects, held meetings and packed. After the condolence and encouragement email slowed it evolved into inquiries and invitations to talk. And talk I did. And it was good.
The earth spoke August 23 as a 5.8 earthquake rolled across the mid-Atlantic, parts of the east coast and under my feet, causing widespread panic for the masses - reminding me to get my money's worth out of existence by sucking every possible fermion of satisfaction out of my piece before it ends. August 24 I stayed up all night writing a grant proposal for a workforce development project for people with intellectual and developmentaldisabilitiesbased on conversations with an area nonprofit and met the Executive Director at the crack of dawn for a road trip to the State Capitol to pitch it. We pitched hard and walked out with funding. One down. A huge one.
I spent the next week hauling personal effects, many of which I had little recollection of amassing - a bag a day to the car, wondering what I would do with it all and if it would just end up living in my trunk like the American Legion kitchen. On September 2 I was the last one to leave the office. I left my parking tag and key on the boss' desk, slipped an 'I'll miss you' note under the admin's keyboard, shut the light out and left. I forgot to take the fan. Maybe Isubconsciouslyleft it on purpose soI would have a reason to visit...
One gap week is all I wanted, forget filing for unemployment compensation - just one week to do nothing, clean the house, go shopping in my laundry hamper, help my mom can grape jelly and read the Bible before jumping in on a new job. The week of nothingness turned out to be a week of oblivion. It started with a few excellent calls that ended with contracts (two more down) and ended with Susquehanna testing the levee system to the unprecedented extreme by cresting above its intended capacity at a record 42.66ft and horrendously flooding unprotected parts of the valley.
And now it's 12:45am and I need some sleep. I have another early morning road trip I need to get ready for - this time it's not to pitch, it's on the clock...
Maybe someday I'll get to read that Bible...