It's my last Monday of the year. Number 52.
I survived a year that ended up being quite different than I thought it would be when it started.
I thought it would be the countdown of my last year as an executive. What was supposed to be a slow and torturous grind to a halt.
I imagined that it would be tough to stay focused and I would be marginalized to the point of invisibility.
I thought that I would have to work twice as hard to overcome the assumption that I would just be "phoning it in" during the final year.
But then everything changed.
January the company approached me about my future.
February the company restructured.
March the company allowed let me to lean back.
April the company made me a producer.
From May to August, the company gave me a TV series to produce. All while buying, selling, remodeling, homes and moving three times.
From September to December, I worked hard to develop new projects... but nothing sold.
So now my teeth are clenched, my shoulders are tight and my stomach acid is churning with stress, because I worry that I won’t be successful in my new career.
I am trying to stop and take pleasure in the little things that make me happy:
A glass of red wine or a cold beer.
A great latte.
A great dessert.
I am even trying to meditate. (Okay not exactly meditating, but instead of having negative thoughts, I remind myself to say "Om" for a minute or two.)
But when I am in this kind of mood, I worry that tennis is shredding my achy joints, alcohol is bad for me, coffee makes me anxious and sugar causes inflammation.
Even my fantasy life comes with an editor.
What I have learned, 52 Mondays later, is that it's not about Mondays.
Mondays are a metaphor for life.
There are good days and bad days.
Highs and Lows. We all have our patterns.
It doesn't matter whether I live in a big city.... or in "paradise."
It doesn't matter if I work for a big corporation.... or for myself.
It doesn't matter if I am an executive.... or a producer.
I still suffer from anxiety. The kind that comes and goes. The kind that has specific and non-specific triggers. I realize that the circumstances and people change, but the anxiety rears its ugly head anytime I feel like I am not in control. So the pattern is not the proverbial THEM... it's ME.
I should have realized this when I did everything possible to change my very busy, very hectic, very anxiety-producing life to an entirely NEW life. All changes in the right direction. All positive. All enviable.
But as they say in Buckaroo Bonzai:
"No matter where you go, there you are."
Or as I like to say:
I moved to paradise, but I came with me.
But I am grateful for a lot of changes that I made this year:
I love the serenity of my home office.
I love not having to commute on a jam-packed freeway.
I love not having to dress up and wear high heels.
I love not having to attend daily meetings for the sake of meetings.
I love being home for my youngest daughter.
I love having my little dog at my side.
I love being able to make my own hours.
I love not having homework every weekend.
I love not having a boss.
All of my projects might turn into something.
But it is quite possible that they won't turn into anything.
There are days where it feels like anything is possible…
And days where I feel like I am going to go crazy.
But perhaps the biggest change of all is that 52 Mondays later...
I no longer dread Mondays.
Maybe that’s my biggest accomplishment of all.