As Autumn Beckons

I re-watched “The Lake House” this weekend about a man and a woman living two years apart.  He is trying to catch up to her, and she’s remembering moments that she has forgotten yet have significance in the choices she makes in the present.

2006 © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

A month ago, I was back at my old workplace from six years ago in the same office park by the waterfront. In similar fashion as the movie’s character Kate, it felt surreal–comfortable in the sense I never left but that also things have changed.  For starters, I’ve gone through a transformation underscored by turning another decade old, in addition to the experience gained from jobs and assignments and new family members.

This center certainly has new clients yet retained stalwart familiar ones whom I haven’t forgotten and vice versa.  I used to characterize the cadre of business folks here like the denizens of Miami Beach, which The New York Times once cheekily referred to as having the highest concentration of beautiful people in the United States.  Resonating most, though, are the personal attachments with a few of my stellar managers and a co-worker who passed away after I had left the company.  Although we severed professional and even personal ties before her time came, I found myself reverently pointing to the chair she would have occupied when a client, whom we both knew, dropped by.  In a way, I do miss her.

And then there was the gorgeous golden retriever named Hanna who like clockwork would show up on the lawn, playing fetch with her owner at three in the afternoon when I would usually take a break.  She would come bounding toward me with a wet tennis ball in her teeth and her owner calling her name to return to him and to quit bothering strangers.

Jack and Kate: Dogs just know things.

However, in Hanna’s eyes, I was no such thing maybe because I used to wear a butterscotch-color coat that was similar to her own.  Judging from the huge smile on her lovely face, I was a friendly figure, and she was my savior during rough days.

So on a whim when 3 p.m. came around, I went out to the grassy area right outside the building where she would be frolicking, hoping to see her again.  Alas, Hanna was nowhere to be found.

The leads in “The Lake House” were Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, but a particular mutt named Jack played a pivotal otherworldly role that Roger Ebert summed up best: “Now about that dog: Dogs live outside of time, don’t you think?”

Mission Accomplished

I wrapped up August attaining what I had set out to do when I first announced my project, Brassring 2.0, by landing a full-time permanent job.  But my quest probably started the day I was laid off in February 2009.  So I actually banked three years what essentially was working out how I felt and viewed work.

For most people, it’s a no-brainer.  You work to earn a living, and if you’re lucky, you work because you love what you do.  Your job is your calling.  But I suppose I was looking for something deeper or more of something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  Then I fell ill on my birthday this year, and it was, of all people, Gloria Steinem who put it in perspective for me to the point that I even wrote a required job essay entitled, “How I Reconciled with Gloria Steinem,” which basically expounded on my blog entry.

There is value in work because of the commitment one brings to the task.  When I worked weekends for three straight weeks in August, there was no question how committed I was to every project no matter what it was.  I also brought a sense of leadership to the job and understanding that I have a life outside of work, but for the time that I am there, I would give my time and talents wholeheartedly.  I found out what I was missing was consciously knowing the intangibles of what makes work worthwhile and even pleasurable and that I myself brought my own signature stamp to a job I would eventually claim.