I had highs and lows in my career; moments that were remarkable, and others that I still pray to forget. I met nice people, and difficult ones; I had challenging assignments that spiked my adrenaline, as well as very boring ones, that I procrastinated on as much as possible. Colleagues who turned into friends, and others who I cannot recall the names of anymore. Left with glorious moments and horrible wounds.
Everything has an end, but coming to a closure of 30 consecutive years was unquestionably one of the most profound moments that I can recall.
Financial independence has been directly connected with my sense of worth, who I am as a person and a foundation to my personal strength and self-esteem.
So, what was left?
While cleaning up my desk, I went through papers that once were important, to do lists, sticky notes with ‘do not forget this’, go-to phone numbers, and a project plan with my targeted deliverables.
I remembered having to work after putting my kids in bed, losing my sleep because of trivial working problems, going on trips that disrupted my family routine, spending long evenings at the office to finish projects, having vacations postponed. Was it really worth it?
How can something so important be totally gone? What now?
As I pick myself back up again, I remember what my dad used to say: “Keep learning. Always be a student.”
So, what do I need to learn from this experience? What is the key take away of decades of hard work and devotion? How am I going to apply this knowledge from now on?
I summed it up to my top three key points:
- I cannot control every situation, but the sense of control does make me feel happier. So, I need to focus on what I can control.
- The only time I have is today. I need to use it wisely, make it meaningful. To me and others.
- I can choose the perspective I face things, despite the situation. It’s on me to see the opportunities the world present to me.
“Sunsets are a proof ends can be beautiful too.” – Unknown
What makes me happy? What are my strengths, my values, and my life long, perennial priorities?
As I look at myself, I realize I have built new strengths after being diagnosed with lupus and began to see myself and others from a different, more compassionate perspective. While I am not the person I used to be many years ago, I have accumulated many more learnings, stories, and memories.
I fell down several times and stood up after all of them. I am still here, so I am capable of finding a brand-new life in the midst of a messy storm.
So, as I kick off the journey of redefining and finding myself, I want to pay attention to how effective I can be, and be my own superhero.
I hope you can accompany me on this path.
“Every day is a new day, and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.” – Carrie Underwood