“In 2009, I’m going to stop trying to earn points with God, who’s not really even keeping score. And I’ll stop keeping score, so you’re off the hook, too.”
That’s what I put on my facebook profile at the beginning of the year, and of course blogged on it as well (forgive the broken photo link – there have been changes around here since then). Hindsight being what it is, I understood for the beginning of the year what such a mantra would mean. But as it’s played out over the course of twelve months, maybe it has a different feel, a different meaning now.
I can honestly say the biggest lifechange for us in quite a few years happened in 2009. After nineteen-plus years, I started my second real big kid job. A career move is one of the biggest stressors in life, right up there with marriage and having kids and getting a job in the first place. But making a move from one great place to work to another new I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-but-let’s-do-this-anyway job is probably nuts. We did that in August, and it’s been good. The backstory is that I had been wanting to make a change, that I had looked at the twentieth anniversary through the eyes of my midlife crisis, and that through it all I had settled mentally on staying with it. I couldn’t complain with today’s economy and so many without employment, and I couldn’t find a way to do what I would have wanted in the writing arena, the social media arena, maybe consulting on whatever I might find.
Enter a career opportunity to work with social media, to write and be creative in using these tools in a corporate setting. Enter a huge decision for me and my family to move from what’s been fairly comfortable in the long-run into a field that’s nowhere near defined. Enter a plan that takes me from where I’d been feeling overstressed with the same-old-same-old to a new place where stress is still stress but it’s a new evolving thing.
So there’s that, and that was huge.
Back to the quote, back to the thought of “keeping score”. I don’t think I’m one who keeps score, but making the comparison to “others” might mean I’m wrong in my bias. Other friends have gone through changes, too. James is back in the Midlands from Seattle to make a go of it in the local economy. Alan and Chris are both back home, too – their own career changes in hand and Chris’ upcoming deployment still to come. George has moved his family, getting ready for a new adventure geographically (and is wrapped up in my own story above). And Todd and Steve have had their own ginormous opportunities and challenges along the way in 2009.
We’re adults. We’ve grown up, or at least are in the process. And mostly, we’re doing it without a net, without the printed English/Spanish/Japanese directions. And we’re coming along okay.
So here’s an early-ish goodbye to 2009 – it’s been a good year, it’s been a strange year, and it’s been a year to scare the bejeebers out of us in more ways than one. And here’s an early hello to 2010 – which I will be calling Twenty-Ten, thankyouverymuch – and to the opportunities and challenges just around the bend.