Life Bitch Slap #6: “Be Thankful”

It’s been a crazy two months as I finish up my tenure at SEOmoz. I’ve met with dozens of entrepreneurs and had more coffee meetings than I thought humanly possible in that amount of time. I’ve talked about big ideas, following dreams, and getting after it. I’ve been inspired to say the least.

During all of that I’ve watched as my team at SEOmoz nears the big launch we have been working on for a year. It will be, in many ways, a new beginning for our awesome company, and I’ve been lucky to see it through. I’ve been fortunate to see all those hours come to fruition, and truly couldn’t be prouder of what is about to go live. The team has worked so hard, and we’ve built something pretty special. I’ve been honored to work with that team to say the least.

I’ve also spent the last two months asking myself what I really want, and perhaps more importantly what I don’t want from the next move. I’ve weighed a lot of opinions from very smart people. I feel like I learned more about myself in the last two months, while asking myself hard questions like who do I want to work for and around? What industry excites me? What do I want my day to day to look like? How big or small a team do I want to join? It’s been enlightening to say the least.

The best part is through all of this I was some what of a hot mess. Okay, okay…quite the hot mess. I was here and there and all over the place. I would wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if this leap was a crazy one, I’d roll into weekends tired and weighing all the offers and options. Settled was not a word I can say I felt the past two months. Somehow I managed to turn these amazing opportunities into something to stress over rather than something to embrace and be thankful for. 

What the whattttt.

I was lucky enough to grab coffee with Andy Sack, a local entrepreneur and VC, and he brought up this idea of “serendipitous clarity” and how if you just open yourself up to it, it will find its way to you. Things will make sense. I love this idea. I’m a planner. I’m Type A. I calculate and spreadsheet the hell out of my life. But I am also a dreamer, a creative, a wanderer in many ways.

My moment of serendipitous clarity over the past few weeks came unexpectedly about a week ago. I’m not sure it’s exactly what Andy had in mind, but I certainly think it had the impact he spoke to. A moment that made me go “whoa. yes. be thankful.”

A dear friend of mine, Kristy Bolsinger, lost her cousin to cancer. She was given months once they stopped treatments, but it was more like weeks. The family lost her quickly, and brutally. I was thrown back to losing my mom to cancer, and thought about how lucky I was to have 6 months to say goodbye. I thought about how thankful I am for those six months. Soon after that, my sister called to tell me a friend of ours little boy passed away. He was 5 months old. The doctor’s don’t know why he died. I thought about her and her family and how that week rolled into mother’s day. I thought again about how lucky I was to have 17 years with my mom, and how darn lucky I am.

Here I am meeting with people following their dreams, smiling, and laughing in the Seattle sun. And I am stressed? Bitch slap. Bitch freaking slap. Be thankful.

Being thankful is hard. It requires moments of pause in a crazy world. It requires you be humble and reflect on what really matters. It requires perspective. And often it requires hard moments to show us just how freaking lucky we are. I am so lucky right now. Almost terrifyingly so. I have a few weeks off to wander in the sun and write. I have an amazing family and true friends, and a great man that loves me. I have a new opportunity and team to work hard with and build great things with.

I’m thankful. So freaking thankful. Be thankful friends, it all flies by, and we are the lucky ones.

 

2 Comments
  • http://twitter.com/AndySack Andy Sack

    Joanna,
    You’re right that wasn’t the kind of moment I meant when we spoke about serendipitous clarity….but it certainly is the kind of moment I can appreciate and empathize with….and now that you mention it….being reminded how lucky we are to be healthy is a great reminder!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joanna.lord Joanna Lord

    It’s funny because the words kept resonating with me, and I *knew* you meant something else as I thought about them. Both are important, at least now I am open to both kinds :)