Tag: Career

Leave Your Legacy

Leave Your Legacy

An interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom
photo credit Wikipedia

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theorizes there are a number of steps or stages to a person’s development.  Represented as a triangle you would start with the basics needs at the bottom and move to the more developed stages at the top.  For more info you can check out here.

Sometimes I believe I haven’t progressed much along that path. Oh I certainly have the basic Physiological needs met (food and water etc.). I have the
security and Safety needs met of body, both personal and family, so while my pension is small I seem to have enough to live on.  So far at least.  It’s level 3 that sometimes gives me pause, the Love/Belonging stage.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, particularly some on my early retirement, you’d know I had (or have) some issues regarding my previous place of employ and the terms under which I left.  Those issues revolved primarily around my disappointment up to and including the time of my early retirement.  In part it was a disappointment or sadness that ended with my perception of the quick good-byes from my fellow employees, where it seemed to me they were just anxious to get it over with and get back to work.  It felt (almost) like my 38 years of service meant nothing.  Hurry, give Dwayne his cake, his retirement card, and a token “see you soon” and we can continue on with our day.  I was deeply hurt.

But I digress.  My point was that in that setting, my workplace, I had  at one point felt that they were my family, extended but family nonetheless.  That perception was quickly and effectively quashed.  I rapidly felt alone, without my “family”, cast adrift into the retirement sea with no history.  Probably one of the biggest components of my life, that of my job,  all of a sudden meant nothing.

I continue to work at resolving those emotions however, to get past the hurt.

During my tenure there I tried not to be one who lived to work, rather I worked to live.  The job was just a means to an end.  Sure I tried to enjoy it and connect with others but in the end it was just my job.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons my advancement felt limited, it may have been that my credo was more obvious than I thought and I wasn’t seen as a team player.  Who knows.  At any rate I tried to place the importance and emphasis in my life on things outside my job.  I tried to focus my energy and enjoyment on my home and my family.

In this, my family, I feel more blessed.  My wife often reminds me that the challenges I faced in my job, the tribulations in my career and the sacrifices I gave during my working life, weren’t for nothing.  The life tools and the basis for growth that we gave our children was worth so much more.  We provided more than a roof, and food on the table, we gave them the grounding and tools to build their own happy and fulfilling lives.

If there’s anything you should leave your children it’s a path, a means to follow in your footsteps.  Give them guidance and support, and copious amounts of love.  In that I hope I’ve succeeded.  In fact it’s been said to me a number of times, particularly by my nephew among others, “I want to raise my kids just like you did”.  We are held up as a positive example, as role models and mentors, as parents to emulate.

So perhaps I have passed part of level 3.  The friends I have may be few but I think they are true friends.  They love us and can be counted on in a time of need to support us.  I feel gratitude that I have the family I do, that our children have the love and caring in their lives, to grow and mature as healthy adults.  I can hope for no less while they raise their own children.

“Mothers tell your children ‘Be quick, you must be strong.
Life is full of wonder and love is never wrong.’
Remember how they taught you; how much of it was fear.
Refuse to hand it down: The legacy stops here.”
-Melissa Etheridge

To Work, Or Not To Work, That is The Question

To Work, Or Not To Work, That is The Question

I received a call the other day, really it was an email but the purpose was the same.  It was a question, asked by the person who took over my previous role at work, “do you want to golf on Sunday?”.  Now that sounds like a harmless question, and it may be just that simple, however my mind went into overdrive and I pondered the “What ifs?”

  • What if he is really schmoozing me to find out if I want to go back to work on contract?
  • What if he’s not, and he just wants to golf?
  • What if he misses my smiling face and wants to bond?
  • What if it’s none of the above?

Tough questions, all of them….. Not really!

I surmise what’s really happening is my ego is acting up, setting the stage for an “I’m so great and they can’t accomplish anything without me” attitude.  I am thinking that in my deep hurt from how I left my career that I am looking for vindication on some level.  I also suspect that this response is normal, or I certainly hope so.  I don’t want to think I’m unbalanced or anything.  I’m not happy that I feel this way, thinking my ego is taking over, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to my way of thinking.

I did email him back and I told him we were on the road camping, that I’d be unable to meet him.  “When you get back call me” he said.  Does that sound like somethings afoot to you?  He has never asked me to golf yet, nor has he ever suggested I call him.   Hmmm, inquiring minds need to know.

When all is said and done and our lives get back to normal I’m sure I’ll find out what the scuttle is, until then I’m left wondering.  And the question is not only whether that’s what he wanted it’s also what will/would my answer be?  That is the bigger question now isn’t it, to work or not to work?  That’s the harder one to answer.

The Day is the Same, Just Different

The Day is the Same, Just Different

Wow, where do I start?  Today is, as they say, ” the first day of the rest of your life”.  It is a new beginning, it is an end to an old life.  I have officially worked my last day.  Now some may argue and say I’ve never worked a day in my life but I would differ, I’ve worked lots.  It’s only my career in the mill that’s over. At least it’s over for now, if I get called back then it’s all bets are off, it’ll be an old “new” beginning or a new old one I’m not sure.

To celebrate (or drown my sorrows) I’ve hit the pub where I’ll ruminate and write down my last thoughts, as long as I can still write anyway.  The day was not bad, just not good, not happy nor sad but full of emotions nonetheless.  I did my glad handing and had the token coffee and cake with the administration group.  I rambled at the mouth and tried to say something profound but I didn’t feel as if the crowd was with me.  I sensed they were waiting for the pain to end so they could get back to their desks and continue with whatever important tasks they had.  In all truthfulness I got a warmer reception from the rank and file, the front line as opposed to the back office group. Grunts instead of accountants if I may be so bold. Don’t get me wrong my son in law is an accountant but the real work is done on the floor in the “hands on”, not in the administration of the work.  Sorry, sad but true.

Anyway I digress, lets get back to me.  I’m melancholy, back to s’appy and h’ad (or a cross between happy and sad for those that miss my intent). The beers are having the required effect so it appears my rambling may have carried over from my goodbye party.

Sooo, this leg of my work life is done, who knows what this next leg of my life will bring.  After experiencing the twists and turns of life that we’ve gone through I feel up for almost anything.  Certainly losing a child has got to be one of those moments and coming through that has made me stronger, retirement will pale in comparison to that.  “I am woman, I am strong”.  Wait a sec I’m not a woman, but I am strong.  Live long and prosper.

‘Nuf said.  Time to sign off.