October has always been my favorite month of the year. Because of this, I have built up quite a few fun traditions over the years.
For example, I wear orange every single day in October. It helps that orange is also my favorite color and have a lot of orange things to wear.
Another thing I love about October is figuring out what to hand out on Halloween. Sadly, this year it cannot be balloonimals (or what you might call “balloon animals”). Sigh…
See, back in December I slipped on the driveway during our first snowstorm. No, I did not fall. What I did instead, however, was wrench almost every bit of soft tissue from the base of my neck down to the coccyx.
Ten months later, I’m still recovering.
It is still very difficult, for example, to have my hands in front of me, closer to each other than about 12-18″, and do anything such as type, write, read, play cards, pet the dog, eat, or … make balloonimals.
So what does this have to do is going back to work tomorrow? A lot of things, it turns out. Almost everything, actually.
On the one hand, I have a tremendous opportunity. I am an experienced newcomer. I know the culture, I know the people, I may even remember some of the systems we work on.
This makes going back to work tomorrow a thrilling and exciting and nerve-wracking and joyful experience.
On the other hand, I won’t be able to share any of my Halloween traditions with my teammates. All because I’m still healing.
Thankfully the company is quite accommodating, and allowing me to work from home. I can hear my teammates, we may set up some WebCams, we will definitely text and email and chat the heck out of everything.
This makes going back to work tomorrow a little sad and a lot harder,
So I will be here at home, enjoying the orange all to myself. Normally this isn’t an issue, mind you. Basically, you could stick me in a cave with a computer and Internet connection, and I would be extremely happy and comfortable. After all, I am about as much of an introvert as one can possibly get.
But this is October. For me, every day in October is Halloween. Each day is a little bigger and brighter and Halloweenier. Each day brings more fall color changes, more comfy sweatshirts, more falling leaves, more pumpkins to carve, and so very many more scary decorations.
No one should ever be alone for Halloween.
Yes, I will be back to work. Becoming more me again, if you will, by dusting off the brain that’s been tucked in a hatbox at the back of the closet for ten months. The dog will probably be quite happy someone else has to endure what I think are funny comments.
It will be a lot of fun learning the new things the company has been up to. It’s a dynamic company. One might even call them “The Dynamic Company”. Quite frankly, one never really knows what any day is going to be like, no matter how much we plan. Mainly we plan for the future to know where to tuck the uncertainties, and how to prioritize the changes.
I mean, I’ve gone on vacation before, and know a bit of what to expect. Sometimes it’s even a different place within that two-week time span. Such as coming back from the World Balloon Conference last year. I had learned so much more about making balloon statues and critters. My hands were so very tired from making so many of the new knots and trying the different techniques.
But it wasn’t just me that had changed. Even in those two weeks, my job description had subtly changed by the time I got back. Still the same words, but what I was actually doing, what those words meant to the company, what was expected from that role, had changed just a little bit. Which makes being there a bit more fun. Okay, a lot more fun.
It’s always something. A new team leader, some new software to learn, a new place to sit and look over the city, or some new hot project that absolutely has to be done right now. There’s always a lot of those.
I’ve heard that the words of my job description have not changed over these ten months. The substance however, may well be completely different. Some of the people I used to rely on may now be on other teams or in different roles. Or even other companies.
The company might not even use the software or systems that were in place back in December. We knew some of it wasn’t meeting our needs, and the company may well have chosen to find or even create something much better. Some new toy I will have to learn. To me, systems and software are toys, and learning them is fun. So all of this change is a pretty good fit for both of us, the company and me.
I’ve been gone so long now, however, that even if they use every single thing exactly the way we were using it before, I’m going to have to re-learn most of it.
Whatever tomorrow brings, orange and chocolate and learning and friends will be involved.
And it will be a good day.