Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This just very quickly

I have been away from here. In the wilderness. That would be the wilderness between my ears, of course. The year of gratitude is on.

Have you ever noticed that when you really commit to something, at first you must wade through all your reasons why staying committed is a really, really bad idea? Thank you, that's February. I have been an ungrateful, agitated mess.

Last year the company I've been with for four-plus years was acquired by a behemoth that's in the news a lot these days. In October, I was asked to join a workgroup of five people. This beats the heck out of being laid off, mind you. Join I did. In February, three of the five were let go as the group was reorganized. Last week, another of my teammates was axed, leaving me the last man standing.

For which I'm grateful. Of course.

And shaken to the core. I am the paycheck, I am the breadwinner, coo-coo-ca-choo.

Many of my former colleagues have been laid off through this period of transition, and many more will be. Some are bitter, others have discovered their passions and are pursuing those profitably. Some have discovered that the chase for more things (what Galbraith called "positional goods,") has left them empty, and what they really value is the time and freedom to do what they love with the people they love.

There it is, then: the realization that the only things of value are time and relationships. Sometimes as I contemplate what I'm grateful for, I can't help but see that I am mighty hungry in these areas. And mighty happy, too.

It's a paradox. For those of you who've asked me to come back to this blog more often, I thank you, and I promise I will. I appreciate you more than you know.