Thursday, July 31, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new.

Thursday was the last day of my first freelance assignment. I got this assignment back in February and it was only supposed to last a month, but it extended to nearly six months and is ending because I have a new job starting next week.

This place experiences a lot of turnover (hence, the need for a freelancer for six months) and so I have been to many a good-bye party, but nothing prepared me for the farewell I received. I expected a small gesture, but I was taken out to lunch, then was treated to huge bouquet of flowers and cupcakes and a card signed by everyone on the staff--even people who I thought did not know my name. I was completely blown away by the gesture and all the kind words from everyone. I don't think this is a common thing in freelance world. In the words of Sally Field, I couldn't help thinking, "You like me. You really like me!" Kind of made me feel bad for the big smile that swept across my face every time someone remarked sadly, "So, it's you last day?"

I am just ready for a change, and I am looking forward to my next gig, which is only supposed to last three weeks (but then again, who knows?), and the fact that my September is a blank slate (half-scary, half-exhilarating). The last few weeks have been such a whirlwind of social activity--all fun, but so busy that I haven't had a moment to think about my priorities and goals and those things have slipped through the cracks. I haven't written in weeks. I am eating poorly and exercising has ceased since Argentina. Goals are just sitting there in my mind doing nothing.

The best part of my freelance job is that I met Heather. We sat next to each other at work, and you might have noticed her stalking Everyday Ham in recent weeks. She has come up with a brilliant idea to create 40x40 list: 40 things to do before the age of 40. She has just recently crossed off one of her dreams: to work at a non-profit organization that lets her travel around the world (yeah, she became part of the mass exodus at my job). I am really inspired by her goal because she heard about this organization a long time and decided that she had to work there. It's hard to change careers but she has been working on this goal for years--volunteering to pad her resume and stalking them every few months--and lo and behold, she did it!

This week, I finally watched The Last Lecture, the speech given by Randy Pausch, the college professor dying of cancer (who passed away on July 25). In his speech, he talked about how obstacles are a good thing because in order to get what you really want in life, you have to go over the obstacles. And the reason why they are there is because most people won't try to hurdle the wall, and the people who do are those who really want it. Heather did that.

I have a running list in my head of the things I want to do and wondering if I should make it official with a list of my own. I can see and feel the walls around me, but I know I can hurdle them too if I just made the effort. But would a 40x40 just feel like another to-do list? Or will it get my off my ass and actually do?


Willytheprince said...

Yeah--your favorite stalker here. You'll do it. Take it from me...after our night out (who knew it was nearly 2am)I decided to kick it into high gear. Sat. I marched my butt down to Karate and signed up.

Part of the reason to have others do a list is to have a group of encouragement.

Miss you, good luck

Peter said...

Maybe you can add "bicycle across America" on the list"? Now I have 39 items left on my list and less than 2 years to go before 40. I better get moving. How about 50X50 for me?