Yesterday at 7 a.m. I was struggling to get my act together to get to work on time. Snow and cold had put their marks on the Midwest, always making the trip to work a slow go.
Yesterday at 2:30 p.m. I was carrying out one lone box of ‘stuff’ to show for 18 years of employment.
Due to company restructuring, they had decided to let a number of us go.
I understand the decision; I just never thought I’d be on the receiving end of the down side of it.
Don’t feel bad for me — I was planning on retiring December 20th anyway. I am near the end of getting my ducks in a row and planning for the busy second part of my life. I feel bad for those who are 15, 20 years younger than me. They most likely are still looking for their ducks.
The world sends conflicting messages all the time. Plan for the future. Live in the now. Worry about retirement at age 30. Don’t retire until you’re 70. The economy is booming. Unemployment rates are low. Yet companies are downsizing. Profits are quirky.
Where does one fit in all this confusion? After all, there are conflicting messages there, too.
Everything passes. Life goes on in waves. Ride the high ones, hold on in the low ones. Don’t take anything for granted. Find a reason to be happy outside your job. Be your job.
I know how lucky I am to be on the up side of the down side of restructuring. It is nothing more than timing. This could have happened ten years ago, too. It just so happened it didn’t.
I wanted to be a writer for my company, and I did a fairly good job of it.
Now it’s time to pursue that career in the next half of my life. But on more of my schedule than the man’s.
So do I have a solution for yet another chapter of grief and redemption in this world?
No — except to pay attention to where you are, look around you now and then for future endeavors, and still live each day like it was your last. Live in the moment, realizing each moment is merely a drop in the big pool of the future, which quickly turns into the past.
And you can’t change the past.