Who's ready to kick this year to the curb? What a year, huh? Had enough stress yet? Most of us have penned deals that we weren't happy about; bent rules, cut profits, margins and some of us have lost good employees and/or good customers. And there's been pressure, pressure, pressure as we worked twice as hard to get half as much. Although there was rarely overt panic, there was underlying anxiety from the top to the bottom of our internal business worlds. Would we make payroll, lose investors, find enough work to keep employees or to just keep busy? Even companies who have done well over the last year worried about where the bottom was, if we were there or if we were about to drop another shoe. We all postponed buying supplies or chose to get things done without additional resources because of financial uncertainties. It's been a buyer's market, if you could find them and those who did were often in bidding wars, at auctions or with customers demanding more for less.
Some of us do well under pressure but most, not so well. Anxiety spills out in words, short fuses, frustration and/or misplaced actions. It's been hard not to let the pressure show or to affect us this year. In better times, people give more and forgive more. But this year, economic restraints generated daily strain with little that could be done to change the end results. Folks tried as hard as they could and did whatever they could to achieve the goals set. We incentivized, cut, spent, re-budgeted, argued, demanded, cajoled and worked our behinds off. But nothing much could be done that resulted in a significant difference in the end. If we step back and review this year, situations, people's performance and reactions, putting it all in perspective of the strain, well, it's worth doing. Take a breath and take another look at it all, separate of the daily grind. Yes, we're a little tired and justifiably so.
In a few short days, we are going to leave 2009 and all its stress in the past. On the 31st we'll brush off our hands, raise a glass, sing a song or two and turn our backs on a year that we can tell stories about for many years to come. And the next morning, January 1, 2010, we will wake up refreshed, invigorated and renewed.
There's nothing that really justifies a whole new attitude on Tuesday, January 1st but this is what we do every year. And this year is not the year to stop that practice. So make a list of all of this past year's frustrations, disappointments and anxieties and at 11:59 p.m. on the 31st of December rip it up, burn it or bury it, dumping it into the past. If you can chuckle about any of it, and say, 'good job getting through that one,' well this is even better.
So here's to 2010...a new year, a new attitude and new horizons!