It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

It’s interesting how people mark the passing of time with milestones and how we assign more significance to some of those milestones than to others. Ultimately, it’s all about the perspective that someone has at any particular moment in time. That perspective can and will change.

Having had so many significant milestones happen recently, I am in quite a unique position to judge how that’s affected the way I feel about my life in general.

2013 has already introduced some interesting life events:

  • I’m about to get my reconstruction op done at the hands of two (yes count ’em) highly skilled surgeons and all in one hit rather than having 2 separate ops.
  • I’m no longer working for one of my businesses – it is time to move on from the one I helped to build for 13 years
  • I’ve been talking to a few people about new opportunities to collaborate and they are interesting and exciting people, so there is a lot to be happy about
  • I am attending several courses in London over the next 2-3 months
  • I have at least 2 new business meetings planned for March already
  • I am putting together a plan for how I could improve processes in a local business and gain my lean six sigma green belt qualification
  • I have got involved in a new local charitable organisation for people who have to have mastectomies or reconstruction and felt like I have already helped them work towards their launch.

I feel good about all of it. Well, now I do. The thought of leaving my job has taken a little time to adjust to, just because I’d been there so bloody long!

The interesting thing about writing about events, no matter how objective someone thinks they are being, they will always add an interpretation and a degree of personal bias to the mix.

In some cases the events in my life could be described very differently. I could be very negative about some of the changes that I’ve been dealing with and said things that would only reflect my feelings at one small moment in time. Instead, I’m going to be positive.

The reason? I win, this way.

I’d imagine that I feel happier, more relaxed, and better able to cope with life than a lot of people I know at the moment, so I am grateful for the ability to steer myself out of the mood I was getting into.

If someone goes too far down the route of feeling sorry for themselves, it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle where they potentially notice every little thing that doesn’t go the way they’d hoped. They latch onto it as proof that the universe has it in for them. That distracts them from pulling themselves out of the problem or sadness and prevents them from moving forward – so they allow life to pass them by, resenting it and everyone else. Not good.

I came up against an example of this phenomenon only in the last couple of weeks when an acquaintance of mine decided to post slightly mean and personal comments about me online during a discussion relating specifically to me and the fact I was leaving my job.

I was a little bit surprised that they had chosen that moment, that forum, and that audience for their comments.

I realised though that it actually said a LOT more about them than it did about me, and so I did the only reasonable thing, bearing in mind the audience, the fact that emotions come and go and published material is slightly more permanent… and said (I paraphrase) “Ok, fair enough, if you feel that way, but I’m sad that you do.”

I feel quite proud of myself for not over-reacting. Actually, when I analysed how I felt about the incident, I realised – hey, things like that don’t matter to me as much as they used to! I worked out: in the space of 18 months I’ve had 2 break-ups, moved house 3 times, fought cancer, had 2 operations, got through chemo, left my job… All of which are stressful on their own let alone together. Yet I’m STILL happier than that person!

That makes me one lucky bird. 🙂

So today is my last day at work, at a company I’ve worked in for over 13 years. I’ve made some lifelong friends, worked with some lovely colleagues and even made at least one client considerable personal wealth. It’s been interesting, heart-warming and there have been a lot of fun and funny moments along with a few challenging ones. A couple of situations have reduced me to tears, even, but I see that as a sign that I really care about doing a great job and making the best of whatever situation I find myself in. I’ve loved it here.

In fact, it was such a great place to work, that at least 3 people have left the company once and then come back again to work with us at a later date… That’s the kind of place that you want to work for. If I’m honest, that’s the kind of business I will want to work for in future.

Indeed, it may well be my own business that I end up working for. But I’m not rushing into anything because I have an op to get through first, and that’s fine.

So ahead of my op tomorrow (assuming I don’t get sent home for having a cold) I’ll be raising a glass with my colleagues at our usual haunt, and celebrating just one more of many interesting milestones in my life. Here’s to us all. Onward and upward. 🙂

World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed.
Dummy with the rapture and the reverent in the right – right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light,
Feeling pretty psyched.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it
and I feel fine.

Lyrics by R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe)