Shut Me Up, Comfort Zones and other stuff

Shut me up.  Just shut me up.  I kind of like that I am a story-teller but sometimes I just keep going and going and going … the energizer bunny of story-tellers.  I went into a friend/co-worker’s office space late this afternoon to tell him one thing, a thing that should have taken five minutes.  We talked for an hour.  This happens to me two or three times a week at work.  Actually, I should say I cause this that often.  I just can’t stop sometimes.  Just shut me up.

The main star of the TV series “The Sopranos” died today.  After seeing dozens of Facebook posts about that I have concluded that I am the only American who has never seen an entire episode of that show.
The relatively new top boss in the local division of my company could be a motivational speaker if he chose to.  He has a weekly meeting involving half the staff during which he actually does motivational speaking targeted to our work situation.  One of the many points he regularly makes is ‘get out of your comfort zone’.  I am a proponent of that philosophy but also a reluctant practitioner.  In both my professional life and my personal life I have focused on challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone.  The results are almost always positive.  But I am still hesitant.  One benefit of aging, however, is that I care less about what people think of me than I used to and so the self-consciousness I sometimes have about escaping the comfort zone grows smaller by the week.

I gave up one of the items on my impossibly long list of duties on my job description this week.  It was an unofficial leadership role that I took on years ago but was increasingly getting in the way of my ability to do the rest of my job at the level at which I am expected to perform.  The decision was mine, my boss reluctantly backed me up,  laughed at me when I changed my mind twice during the past two months and backed me up again when I finally implemented my decision.  On one hand I am relieved, on the other I am second-guessing myself.  In some ways this particular role positioned me as a big-picture visionary in the eyes of management; I saw a trend coming within my company and jumped on it.  In fact, I have seen the future many times during the past few years and am confident in my new found ability to see what is coming and act on it.  That serves me well until I take on so many things that I can’t do any one of them thoroughly.  So I prioritized, acted on a decision and stepped out of my comfort zone.  Time will tell if I did the right thing.
Wow, that last paragraph was pretty damn ambiguous, wasn’t it?

This week I also gave up a position on a local board of directors that I’ve served on for four years.  Prioritizing again.  That was also a difficult choice but I had to do it.  Sorry, another ambiguous paragraph, I know.  Moving on …
I have a New York City weekend coming up soon and this time I am determined to add some tourist time to the work-related nature of the trip.  I plan to visit a museum, see Manhattan from the top of the Empire State Building and have drinks with a former co-worker who I haven’t seen in twenty-five years.  More details coming in another blog post.

OK, time to shut up.  I talk talk talk even in this blog, don’t I?