Before I begin this post, I wanted to mention a couple of ‘admin’ type items. One is my new guestmap over there —–>
I know where a lot of my blog buddies hail from but if you’d care to stick a pin on the map, I’d be glad to see it. I’m sorry Minka, Joel was 1st but that doesn’t mean you’re not number 1 around here 🙂
Second, I’m going to try to go to just making one new post a week, probably on Sunday. With the kids, school, sports, work, yard, dog and a whole list of goals I haven’t progressed on, I have to seek a new balance. It doesn’t take much time to drop in for a visit so I’ll still keep in touch with my regular buddies, I will just post less. Think of it this way, it will so much easier to keep up with things at the Hen House!
Ok, back to the Hard Road:
1) I’m working on my rollerblading and its coming along nicely but I guess I had to fall down eventually. I fell down twice today, both times during stopping. Stopping is difficult and dangerous. The road is really $%*#@$ Hard!!
Oh well, in fashion news, purple buttocks are all the rage this season!
Grant came with me the first time, because he is learning to blade too. What a good sport he was. He fell on his little butt about 20 times but just kept saying “I’m ok Mom” and carrying on. In typical little boy fashion, he did stop to watch the worms at one point and hollered out to me ‘ Look Mom, there is a worm digging into the pavement! ‘
In Alberta, even the worms are hardy!
2) I wanted to share with you a bit about a celebration I have taken part in in the last few weeks. My good friend M, who I have worked with for almost 20 years, retired on June 1. She is definitely happy with her decision and is looking forward to many years living as a ‘Happy, Wild, and Free‘ retiree. I’m glad that she has so much to look forward to.
Here is a picture of us, taken at her party (posted with permission):
I have so many great memories of the years working with M. Not only is she is highly respected chemist but she has always been very involved in the academic community and in promoting women in science. As a colleague she has been a great mentor and friend. The last few years at our company have had some significant challenges and its been good to share them with one such as M.
Some of the biggest influences from M have been in the area of personal support and friendship. She always looks out for people. M was responsible for introducing me to the fellow who I ended up car pooling with for several years and we became very good friends. He and his wife, even though they’ve moved to Michigan, still stay in touch and their children call my Auntie! Also, years ago, I had to go to a very important meeting in Houston and this was the first time I actually got to go to a work meeting with someone I knew. Luckily for me, M was going to the same meeting. Unfortunately, I had had a miscarriage a couple of weeks before that meeting and was still fairly ill. No tidy endings for me, I had to bleed and struggle for 2 months, but that’s another story. Anyway, M was so kind and supportive of me through that time, and it meant a lot to me that she was there as a friend and colleague. We had some pretty big battles to fight in those days and as an ally, she was superb.
Why am I including this under the ‘Hard Road’? Well, the thing that I find hard is not only coming to work and she is not there, but I have been feeling a lot of career angst lately and this change just underlines it all. I know that M is leaving our company to enjoy many busy years of activities and family time and I’m happy for her. I really wonder these days if I shouldn’t leave, but for slightly different reasons. I keep thinking ‘what is the point of retiring in 10-15 years when my kids are just about ready to leave home?
Maybe I should go now, focus more on the family, and start another career when I’m in my fifties. I’ve spent a lot of time developing a lot of skills. I don’t want to pack them away and never work again. In fact, I think, if I choose wisely, I can have another 20-30 years of doing something useful. But, I’ve also paid a pretty high price to get the family I have. I want to do the best possible job at helping them develop and grow so they too can move and be contributing, productive people. That is so hard to squeeze in now and it creates a lot of stress.
Years ago I took a set of courses called “The Excellence series”. It was basically about rising to your potential. One aspect of the mission of Context Associated, was to help people be more effective so they could ‘move forward, get great results, and contribute to the world’. I’ve learned a lot and done a lot but somehow have the feeling that I need to contribute a bit more.
So, this is the hard road I’m travelling right now. Trying to decide what signposts to follow, trying to tune my GPS so I don’t get lost! Of course, I haven’t mentioned anything about my husband, and he’s a big part of this but I don’t want to speak for him, but yeah, I’m driving him nuts too 🙂
I would love it if any of my friends, family, lurkers, would care to share their thoughts on this issue. I know I’m not alone, and many people have career upheavals and change to deal with or to make happen.
Meanwhile, because the road I’ve been blading on really IS hard, and I’m using a whole lot of rusty muscles, I better go for a soak!