Eleven AM Neighborhood kids are at school Cherish the silence
Those were dirty words some days. Hard to get out of bed. Hard to be enthused about the waiting projects and people. Impossible to imagine a thing called “retirement.” Like you I would imagine, I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. Have to work to get the money to keep the present stable and to plan for the future, right? But the truth is I also had many glorious days of great partnerships, getting results, and achieving good outcomes. How exhilarating!
So, here I am, after fifty years of earning a paycheck, in the early days of retirement. I made it! My official exit from employment was on January 20, 2017. When the first Sunday rolled around, I noticed the restlessness, agitation, dread….the anticipation of MONDAY! I had to remind myself that a new chapter had begun. This angst repeated on a second and third Sunday and disappeared completely in the fourth week. I have also noticed that my usual breathless-scampering-to-get-things-done behavior is gone. Whew. What a relief!
And this refreshing pause has given me the room to continue reflecting on my career. Initially, the usual questions:
- Did I really contribute to the well-being of the organization or its patrons?
- Did my work matter?
- Did I make a difference?
Since I had given the boss a six-month notice of my exit, he had the luxury of preparing for a smooth transition of my authority and responsibilities… and I had the luxury of beginning the internal work of change before I left the job.
Based on my own assessment and the feedback given to me by others over the years, I can make peace with these (self-worth) questions. Indeed, my work usually met the test of “good enough”. And there were those occasions, I now immodestly declare, when I excelled by going the extra mile or achieving what most thought to be the impossible. In short, my conclusion is, “You did ok, kid.”
With that evaluation accomplished, I was able to reflect on others:
- Those who mentored me in my business and clinical positions
- Colleagues who stood by me with their encouragement and partnership
- Those who brought me lunch, chocolate, or a good joke when I needed it
- Those I have worked for..the geniuses, rascals, posers, certifiable jerks, and the walk-on-water leaders whose inspiration made me want to jump out of bed every morning to get to work!
- Those who have worked for me…staff who were loyal, hardworking, very smart, resourceful, and made me want to be a walk-on-water leader for them!
I am grateful for it all.. the awful and the exhilarating days. I taught and I learned. I was inspired and I inspired. I gave my career a lot and it gave me as much in return.
All the Best,