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My New Normal

Jones-Perry Christmas card

I’m on a trip today, my last work-related trip until PYM. And I don’t have another scheduled after that. It’s funny, but it turns out that the attacks of enemies and the resulting damage to my career actually prepared me for the changes now required of me: to be home.

I’ve worked at this career for two decades now. Of all the aspects of the last year that have been emotionally difficult, losing what I’ve worked for has been the hardest — especially when it was unjustly taken away. I love to travel, network, and speak. That’s gone, at least for now. And the adjustment to this new normal has been a struggle.

However, the transition to a private life has also been a proving ground for what I’ve always said matters most to me. And, as time passes, I don’t miss the travel and crowds as much as I thought I would. Today, I checked the website for a lecture that I was scheduled to give — I’ve got the email confirming the date and honorarium — only to discover that I’ve been canceled and another lecturer is scheduled in my place. When I saw this, I stopped and attended to how I felt: no tightness in my throat, no increased heart rate, no physiological signs of stress or anxiety. This is new for me, to experience disappointment with equanimity instead of anger.

As everyone knows — but we often forget — there’s a lot more going on in the lives of public and semi-public figures than we glean on Facebook and on blogs, and this is most surely the case with me. And whereas I used to want to reveal and disclose all of this behind-the-scenes truth, I no longer do. The people who need to know and the people who want to know, know. Some others live in self-imposed ignorance. And the rest — the vast majority — really don’t care.

So I go on. No more speaking, a little teaching, and still writing, always writing. My trips now will be with Courtney and the kids — like my son’s first pheasant hunt this weekend.

My new normal, it’s actually pretty sweet.

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