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It's only as scary as you make it.

Along with the headline news yesterday about the two large bank conglomerates coming together as one premier financial institution, came a flood of emotions; uncertainly, excitement, fear, relief. Being one of the loyal worker bees at one of these wonderful companies, the first question that popped in my head, as well as thousands of other people’s heads, was, “Okay. What happens now?”

The last 30+ years of my life have been spent in a fast-paced, corporate lifestyle. Some years, I suffered through 14-hour days without a break on the weekends, only to hear my son ask in a disappointed voice, “Are you STILL working?”, when he came to get me to put him to bed at 9pm. I was determined to work hard, make a good living to support my family, and retire with the same lifestyle I had while working; only with more time for what I wanted to do. The typical myth for GenX’ers like me, right?

So, when you have repeatedly called out loud to the universe over the past 6 months, “Please let my company merge with another so I get laid off!”, you get that deer-in-the-headlight look when you realize your wishes have a high probably of being granted by the Acquisition Genie.

Knowing that I had been through two mergers of this nature during my long career, my phone has rung off the hook since the company-wide email hit in-boxes of employees around the country yesterday morning. Concerned friends and co-workers wanted to know my feelings about the bombshell and what I thought would happen. Well, the only things I know for sure are:

1. The situation is completely out of your control. 

2. Information will come when it is ready to be released.

Having basically panicked after the first two announcements of mergers I experienced during my journey in the Financial Services Industry, I learned that no amount of worry, trying to understand what is happening, or hounding your coworkers about what they are going to do will make it any easier. In fact, the exact opposite occurs.

Instead, focus your mind on what you can control and where you want to be. It’s time to take a personal inventory of your life, determine your needs, reassess your goals, and you just might find that this earth-shattering news and potential change may set you on a course for even greater success and happiness.

Easy for me to say? Do you doubt me?

As I mentioned, I panicked the first couple times I heard my company was merging with another. The first time I was a young mom with two kids ages 4 & 8. I freaked out and started dreaming of the worst possible scenario the moment I heard the news. Turns out, I was just fine and my role was not affected. All that self-inflicted pain and anxiety over several weeks was for nothing. 

The 2nd time was a bit dicey. I was only a few years older and the company gave us a choice to keep our jobs and move to the mid-west or hit the road with our cardboard box filled with random and useless items that had collected in our desk drawers over the years. My path found me parking my cardboard box at another local firm and dedicating the past 11 years to the company that is now merging with another venture. Ironic? Nah, just business and another chapter to go down in the history book.

I’m still here, and having to find another job back then wasn’t the end of the world. It was scary, unexpected, and stressful, but it also rekindled a need to look within myself, figure out a direction, and act. All of which are in our complete control. It also led me on a path to where I am today, which is a stellar place to be! And of course, I would not be living in Cocoa Beach, taking pictures, and meeting so many super rad people if that upset did not occur. Looking back, every bit of it was worth it!

So again, “Okay. What happens now?”

Now I reinvent my life. At least in my mind for the time being.

While the powers that be in Corporate America are working hard to fulfill their dream, I will be plotting and scheming to fulfill mine! Is it finally time go all-in and #LiveTheVibe by putting my passion first? My love for art, beauty, writing, people, my community, and all the things that really make life worth living? Time will tell, but I am going to prepare for the worst-case scenario and make decisions to get me closer toward my goal of escaping the grind.

Until next time, imagine what your dream life looks like. Are you getting closer to that dream by taking small actions daily? You’re in control. Go get it.

As always, keep spreading good vibes!

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