Stick a fork in me, I’m done!

Friday December 21, 2012 is a long-anticipated day. We’ve long ago known it was the “end of the world” as we know it. It also marks the Winter Solstice, the darkest and longest night of the year – which marks the return longer days and light. It is of course the season of Advent in the Christian faith, which is about preparing one’s for the universal light. On the work calendar, it is also the day before many people can take some time off to rest and rejuvenate. (I know so many people can’t take a break because they serve our hospitals, emergency services, and grocery stores but for those of us who can, we are watching the clock for 5:00 pm to roll around so we can officially stop.)

These past months for me have been a series of trips, talks, thinking about big questions, and juggling to keep up with existing commitments. I am still fretting over those things I said I would do but never got to. I stayed up the other night until nearly midnight creating the family Christmas cards, and stressing how I would get everything done. I’ve had a terrible case of bronchitis left over from the travels. And, even though I’ve said I would create one last thing for my team at Harvard Biz Review, I’ve noticed things that normally take a few hours or days seem to be taking forever. I ran around the house the other day trying to find my keys, only to discover them … in my hands. I’m spent up. And the thing I keep noticing is that so is everyone else. Whether it was Sandy, or Sandy Hook, or the interminable and divisive election year, it seems like we’re all done. As in “stick a fork in me, I’m done!”.  Everyone I talk with can barely wait for one thing: vacation.

So before you start yours, (and I hope you have a good one planned), I want to just say this. Thank you for all your support, creativity, ideas, connection making, and kickass selves. Community makes all the difference, and you have filled my heart with more purpose than you know. With that in my heart, I wish you all the best for a restful winter holiday and joy as you face the New Year.

P.S. I had planned a series of Give columns for ideas for what to give a writer, board member, speaker, or hiker, but maybe I’ll turn those into a “tools” column in the New Year. Or save them for next year.

P.P.S. It’s ironic that Good Housekeeping featured an interview I did with Gretchen Rubin (of the Happiness Project)  in their January issue where I talk about what keeps me from happiness (answer: over commitment). As I re-read my own words (written years ago), I heard some cosmic chuckling.

The Happiness Interview with Nilofer Merchant in Good Housekeping  January 2013 edition

P.P.P.S  If it is an end of an era, may it be “an end to the era when we saw the world as a bunch of dead, separate stuff & ourselves as isolated actors” as written in the Washington Post, here: or in long form:

4 Responses:

  1. Glen Lubbert (@glubbert). December 21, 2012 at 11:36 am  |  

    Thank you Nilofer for all your advice. Go rejuvenate and bring back the energy for a wonderful new year.

    • Nilofer Merchant. December 21, 2012 at 11:44 am  |  

      Thanks, Glen. I plan on doing just that. Silence at 17:00 today Pacific. Keep me honest.

  2. Monica Davis (@thoughtfulMED). December 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm  |  

    Thanks for opening my eyes to understanding the social era for more than just media tools. I feel like I’m finally moving forward with a purpose. I hope you have a restful and energizing break!

  3. Karen from Chookooloonks. December 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm  |  

    Happy holidays, friend. I count meeting you in person one of the highlights of my 2012. Let’s make it happen again in 2013, shall we?



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