Friday, December 16, 2016

Putting Things in Perspective

I have moody periods, melancholy periods. Little, mostly insignificant things bring me down and I just live in a cloud for a while. This has been one of those weeks, and I'm hoping this weekend the clouds are going to lift. This morning I learned some unsettling news regarding something that should be way in my past, but unfortunately still leaves me very raw. My team received another kick in the "kicking the can" situation, and stress is mounting. I feel professionally I have made really poor decisions over the last four years, and am doomed to just ride out my work life until I retire, unsatisfied, and unfufilled. 

We are due for a major storm  with snow just starting.  Since the meeting was cancelled, learned after I drove the 45 minutes on a preview 1/2 inch of slippery snow, I left to work from home. I tried to think my way out of this latest cloud while driving home, putting  what I am experiencing now at work, and experienced in my work past, in perspective to what is really important. I'm not there yet, but here's what I came up with.
  • No matter how successful I am at my career, how high I would climb the ladder, once I leave, no one will care or remember my contributions. New leaders come in, put their own mark, and any legacy left is merely a reference on old documents. 
  • For those that do remember me, it is better to be remembered with respect, and that my work was appreciated, and not that  I had some title.
  • Not being willing to sell out my own values to get ahead, kept me able to live with myself. While I'm not going to go anywhere career wise where I am right now, it is just a job, carrying out what needs to be done; I don't own any of the collateral outcomes.My job doesn't make me cry any more.
  • Spending the emotional and physical energy I have wisely by investing my time in my family is a better proposition. Ensuring we have close bonds and traditions, or creating memories with new experiences, will last.
  • I have more to contribute to the world than how I spend 9-5. Perhaps I  just haven't found it yet. Maybe I have yet to find my real calling in life.
I need to take a lesson from the younger generations play book. Millennials, as a generalization, don't lock themselves into any one path, and are already at tender ages, ducking and weaving through life. My niece went to her school yesterday to present her final project needed to graduate with her associates degree in Business Administration. This is my niece who struggled with school as a child and teen, was a single mom at 19, and struggled to learn how to be a mom. In the last three years, she set goals for herself including investing in her relationships with family and friends, her daughter, and importantly herself. She got married last summer to a supportive and caring young man, who loves her daughter as much as her. On her way to school, someone ran a red light and broad sided her car. No one was hurt, but she could have easily gone to a place of sadness. Instead,  she went to a place of hope, promise and future, and importantly self worth.  I quote,

 "Thankfully no one was injured and materialistic things can be replaced. With the bad comes the good and looking on the bright side of things, I am so unbelievably happy to finally be able to say I am officially a college graduate!! It has been an extremely challenging journey but I have never been more proud of myself. Thank you to all who encouraged me along the way especially my daughter, husband, family and close friends. I love you all! Cheers to the weekend!"


  1. I read your post with tremendous intensity. I was a SAHM and always felt a little jealous of TheHub because his career blossomed while mine shut down and eventually left the nest. Now that everyone is out of the house I find I have much more time for volunteering, which does take me to my happy place. Meanwhile TheHub has ever increasing work demands on his time. He gets 5 weeks of vacation annually and we figured that this year he has taken about 5 days. As far as I can tell his only payoff is going to be retirement and like you said, all this time away from friends and family and his intense dedication to work will be forgotten at the office and he will be replaced. I hope for him it was worth it.

    1. For me, it is seeing all these really great promotions and titles going to people (note more than one when I was doing the job of several people, and basically got sucker punched) brought on after I left. It does go to show, if you are not the person at the very top, it is all a house of cards and your at that persons whim. I hope at least your hubs feel like his efforts made a difference.

  2. I like my job, but not the people I work with, so every day is a struggle. One of my co-workers is always cold and stands in front of an open oven every chance she gets while I run around doing all kinds of things that need to be done. Some days I just want to scream at her and say, "If you did some work, maybe you wouldn't feel so cold!!" This woman rarely talks to me or even looks at me, yet others seem to think the world of her. I don't get it. This world is not a fair place, but I keep doing what I think is the right thing hoping someone, somewhere, some day, will take notice of all that I do. It's not likely that will happen, but I don't want to be remembered as that person standing in front of the oven.

    1. I'm fortunate in that I do like my coworkers, but the decision making structure, and the ripple effect of indecisiveness, and pandering to certain stakeholders was not what I bargained for. I feel like I am just spinning my wheels. I took the job, knowing I was getting out of a leadership track, because I thought it was going to be a really great opportunity to put some structure, common sense, and sound changes to a new program that was about to scale up. Instead it's been same old, don't rock the boat, hurry up and wait, and don;t make anyone angry with changes. I also would never want to be known as the person who stood in front of the oven, a new phrase I may use to describe the unambitious laze about in the work place!


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