Happy New Year!!
Wow, it's here...Year 2010. Was it just a yesteryear's NYE ago when I was on-call for conglomerate VISA U.S.A.? As a team member of an 'event management center' in San Francisco, we were ready and armed for an anticipated massive disruption of the big gnarly Y2K (Year 2000)...that never came to be. The disruption, not the year.
I don't know what we expected for 2000, a few extra zeros, some misplaced millions, computer let downs, and potential hard drive crashes of the century. None of that happened. And yet, if you've read a newspaper in the last nine years, you'll know zeros have come and gone, millions have been misspent, celebrities let us down, and, well, what hard drive crash is not tragic?
Partying like it was 1999 (and it was) my biggest challenge was juggling three jobs as I began my last semester at San Francisco State University. I remember bartending--always the best, lucrative choice to avoiding the anticlimax of NYE-- at Blarney Stone in the Richmond, despite my on-call status for Y2K downtown. Shows how worried I was. Not very.
In the weeks and months leading to the tick tock of Y2K, I attended meetings upon meetings, participated in simulations and drills and composed carefully-worded event protocol for merchant and acquiring banks across the country. Do. Not. Worry. was our message.
Funny, I don't remember one ounce of worry on my part. Our company budgeted hundreds of thousands, created a whole taskforce in a dedicated risk management department solely to battling the doom slaying reputation of the toothless Y2K. And while I reflect on it so lightly, I know the SVPs in charge spent alot of time and worried brows contemplating what was to come.
In fact, my worries of 2009 dwarf those of 1999. They're not worries so much as they're stressors. 1999=single student employed in the City versus 2009=wife, mother, and business woman in non-native countryside.
Sure these transitions come with benefits, like the love of a husband and blessings of adorable children, and opportunities of another country, and alas, fruits of our labor. And yet, it wasn't like I awoke with an ephinany to do all these life-changing things. My life just rolled in this direction. Or so I think. I vaguely recall some decisions: I Do. Let's have a Baby. I can do it. Let's do it. Why not?
Thank goodness wisdom comes with age. Otherwise each of these decisions would have required event management each to their own. We manage and survive one worry only to find tomorrow brings more worries. And for this, I find my archnemisis Time is, at last, on my side. Were it not for time, we could not move forward.
I spend a lot of my time either blaming Time or thanking Time. During this winter holiday, Time was with me as I finished many sewing projects. In this post I share our family Christmas quilt--the trick to this project management is, do the piecing one Christmas and finish the quilting the next Christmas. It worked for me! I particularily love the quilting, I used varigated red/green thread and repeated Merry Christmas in the centre and Ho Ho on the borders. Fun.
Laughter, the Best Medicine
Just in case I painted a care-free loving single life in the city, come now laugh with me.
Once upon a time, I was twenty-something irresponsible and unconcerned with parking tickets acquired easily in San Francisco. (Note reality: the problem is more about paying the tickets, than it is about acquiring them.)
On this day while at work, my roommate called to alert me that my car sat with a tire clamp in front of our trendy Cow Hollow apartment. Bus-commuter by day I arrived home only to learn my car was just towed. The amount to free my car was somewhere above $700 (I'm astonished the actual amount is not emblazened in my head to this day as it was so insurmountable back then. Parking tickets averaged $12, but doubled and tripled every 20 days. You do the math.).
Taxi-passenger, now by panic, I returned to work to get a payroll advance, hop in a cab and rush to the court, pay the fine and onto the tow yard before the $60/hr storage charges kicked in. Finally, we arrived in the tow yard in China Basin, well away from the Courthouse and on the outskirts of the Financial District, only to find that I had left my keys, with my car key, on my desk at the office!
Cue the tears. Oh, I cried. My self-inflicted pain would have no end.
This was not quite 20 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember my bluebird-blue suit, my silk creme blouse and my opaque stockings with my favourite heels. I loved working and dressing downtown. I remember thinking a small thank you for waterproof mascara. (Ironically, with all my stressors of 2009, you won't find me wearing any of those items on a regular basis now.) Anyway, it all paled in comparison when the taxi driver felt my pain and sought to comfort me. He said,
"It's going to be ok. Think about it. Today, this is your biggest problem. In six months, trust me, you'll be onto a different problem. This shall pass."
I will never forget that comforting advice. It shall pass. And it always does.
Enjoy your time today.