… is probably the coolest name for a kid’s book I’ve ever seen. Alliterative, descriptive, and anxiety-inducing! C’mon, we’ve all had them… whether the jitters came from being the fat kid who couldn’t even run TO the jungle gym without wheezing (Bad Jitters), or whether they came from being the popular kid who always got to make out with all the girls who wanted him to be their first kiss (Good Jitters), we’ve all been somewhere on the jitter spectrum with regard to jungle gyms. That, my friends, is what we call a common point of reference. It’s what Jung would qualify as a collective memory. And it’s what red states call bullshit.
I saw that book in a book store on my way to get coffee this morning. I went to a new coffee place. It’s like six blocks farther to that place than my ‘normal’ coffee place. Why, you ask? Because I could. Because I just made it happen. Because my big-ass time-sucker of a project at work is FINALLY over. Because that project was the last major to-do item for me for 2008. Because, my friends, I have now been brought back from the brink of the corporate chasm, and I have learned a thing or two.
Thing One: Owning a big project like that, when you’re ready for it & you know what you’re doing, is frikkin’ AWESOME. The only thing that would’ve made this one better is having another set of hands/another left- and right-brain duo to share in some of the work. But all in all, I’ve discovered that the level of responsibility that comes from managing a shit-ton of work for a lot of very well-respected business people is something I can handle. This time, I was ready for it, and it worked out very well. I made it happen.
Thing Two: I need to get way better at owning stuff like that if I ever want to see my wife, family, friends, blog, or NA sponsor ever again. Not only did I not have time for you, dear reader, but I didn’t even have time for Jesus. And we all know how important it is to make time for Jesus. (This is different than “making time WITH Jesus”, which is the old-timey way of describing the act of copulation with the deity.)
In the last… oh, maybe 8 months, I’ve sacrificed a LOT of the personal stuff. Comedy/improv has just completely fallen off, podcasts have been canceled & rescheduled, races have come & gone without a decent performance, and even my ‘happy-go-lucky’-ness (is there a less pansy way to say that?) has seen better days. Just ask the wyf – I’ve gone through all seven Dwarf namesake emotions in as many months. (The month as “Doc” was weirdest – somehow I drew the proctology card on that one. What’d I learn in a month as a proctologist? Every guy has an ass-rope braided between his cheeks after years of wiping, so I’m not alone. Note: not all ass-ropes are created equally; some smell worse than others. If yours is uncomfortable or causes an erection lasting more than 4 hours, see your therapist/professional waxer/non-proctologist doctor.)
But when you ask your next question, ‘Was it worth it?’, I’d say yes. But I think that has to do with my need for validation. See, this project came out well, and a lot of congratulatory emails of recognition & appreciation have come my way. And it’s been a LONG time since I’ve gotten many of those that actually felt like I earned them. Or maybe this is just the first time I’ve been mature enough to know that it’s okay to accept compliments/appreciation without feeling they’re unwarranted. But in any case, it was this project that has made me feel the most validated in my ‘career’ since 2005. Worth it.
What’s next? Not sure. Definitely moving out of my current roles & responsibilities, either to a level higher in this group, or to a level higher in another group that’s got more of a consumer/customer focus to it. It’s great that there’s probably some permanent validation on its way, as I anticipate a promotion, AND I’ll get to move into something I’ll probably enjoy even more.
Here’s the “…but”: I haven’t TOUCHED my stand-up material in ~3 months, and haven’t had an improv session in even longer. Hell, the only creative juices I have flowing right now leak right into Twitter, where they just get soggy & start to smell like ass-rope after a few hours. S-U-C-K-S. But I could wallow in that sacrifice, or I could recognize that it paid off professionally, and then challenge myself to use my time better & employ both sides of my personality at the same time. Ideally, this would be done for me by having a job that required both sides – but as I don’t see that happening in the near-term, I’ll have to make it happen.
So here’s to making it happen. Oh, uh… so here’s where I might’ve tried to weave this back into the Jungle Gym Jitters thing, but give me a break – it was a moderately weak headline to begin with, and I just made two ass-rope jokes laced with a Viagra reference. That’s enough awesome for one entry.
PS – Thursday is Turkey Day! Come back later this week for a Turkey Day Tribute! It’ll be awesome! I promise! Meanwhile, I have to go learn how to trace my hand on a webpage so I can make an electronic hand-turkey. (Now you’re really excited! Me too! I’m four!)