existential crisis?

03 Jan

That’s kind of what my spouse called it anyway.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m going back to work tomorrow after two weeks or so away. If you look back at my posts here for (especially) the past year, you’ll notice a theme: I’m not very happy there. The organization I work for (who shall remain nameless in print) is kind of a mess; management has recently changed, after the previous regime identified some serious problems in a bunch of departments at the headquarters level, and the new folks are shaking things up; nobody knows what’s going on, and what things are going to look like a year from now.

I’m dealing with a lot of stress; a lot of uncertainty, a lack of support, and a lot of (frankly) bullshit in the way of doing the job the way it ought to be done is really frustrating; because if this stuff wasn’t in the way, I could get this thing moving on rails and save the public an awful lot of money, though my pleas for the space to do so fall on deaf ears, mostly because it’s an endless circle of bullshit all the way around, and nobody has any space.

As I’ve said previously, here and to my boss (who’s just as helpless as me, honestly), I’m giving it a year – the contract I’m overseeing pops at the end of the FY, and if things don’t settle down or get put in the proper order by then, I’ll be looking for greener pastures to maintain my sanity.

I’m not really the type to make “new year’s resolutions”, but I am heading into 2018 with some intention: I’m going to try my damnedest to not get hung up in the cycle of expectation, uncertainty, and perception of failure. I’m going to work on managing my expectations of what success in the workplace looks like; the situation just isn’t set up for anything but the worst bureaucracy can deliver. I hate the way this sounds, but I’m going to promise less and expect even less in return, because I’m just one small cog in a big unwieldy machine, and frankly, I’m not in a position to do a hell of a lot to change things unless help comes down from the top (and my organization is terrible at change management, and seems strangely proud of it).

So, I’m going to try to let some things go, and try to convince myself it’s not that I’ve given up, but that I’m setting conditions for a healthier life and a better situation down the road. Feels like the best thing to do; just not get my hopes up, and let this stuff roll off.

In not expecting a lot of validation or feelings of accomplishment in the professional space this year, I’m going to have to find it somewhere else. Luckily, I’ve got some good things happening outside of the professional world – last year, I really got my physical help in order, and had some wonderful creative successes. I’m hoping to keep that going – as we’re fond of saying in the musical realm, “this is cheaper than therapy”, and it really is. People really seem to like what I do in that space with my various co-conspirators, and we’re going to have some great opportunities to take our “hobby that kind of pays for itself (at least some of the time)” out in the world for more people to enjoy, and we know we’ll really enjoy it ourselves, bum notes and all….as a wise man once said, “there are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”

So there; that’s what’s been rattling around in my head the last few days. Just gotta stick to the plan.


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