Walking away isn’t always a sign of weakness.
Sometimes, it’s a sign of strength.
As I stand on the doorstep of retirement (well, a few years out), I ponder the question.
What word will you use? What feeling does the word bring you? Are you stopping…..or changing into something else? Something new at this time?
After lots of chewing, I choose “transformation.”
It’s getting closer than I had expected. In fact, I’d not expected it would ever happen.
It’s all come as a surprise to me.
Although, it shouldn’t have.
But if life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m “every person” as you are and your neighbors are and your sisters and brothers are.
We are all the same.
We go through the same trials and struggles. We love the same things – acceptance, a beautiful sunset, kindness, happy children, feeling valued and appreciated, good friends, love, some good times along the way.
So, at this age, I am now feeling (like maybe you are) that it’s getting closer to the time to step aside.
Younger, eager folks (like we were once) are coming into our offices and setting out to change the world. But changing the world now feels very different to me than when it was our turn.
And I love those who want to change the world! I’m up for that. Always have been.
But for me, at their age, I tried to conform. I think our time was different. We were different. Our elders were different.
I tried to follow set cultures and fit in when I started my career – wear the accepted clothes, learn their ways, conform, listen and learn from those with more experience than me.
But this generation seems different.
I am so, so happy for them.
It’s my kids’ generation and their first workplaces, and how they’re integrating, is completely different than my experience, my foray into the world of finance and investing. Granted, I stepped into a pretty traditional field…..but what is that now? That type of culture kind of feels antiquated.
As I watch my sons, and younger new colleagues, I am a believer. I love what they’re doing.
I love the way their minds work, differently than ours did.
And if I live to my best potential, I need to accept their arrival with grace and encouragement.
I need to be a gracious, older, historical figure – willing to give the back story…..IF they want it. But not push it on them if they don’t.
Asking my younger son to describe what his work day looks like, on the Creative Team at Epic Games working on the video game Fortnite is kind of mind blowing. Over Christmas break, after walking the East End on a balmy 50-degree Maine day to Flat Breads for lunch, we asked – Tell us about your work day? What is it you do all day?
And what he said, with such passion and enthusiasm – said it all.
The way he processes is fascinating to us. The way he creates, problem-solves, works as a team with his colleagues – is so different than what I’ve known.
And so wonderful.
Where this next generation is going to take us, is so exciting to me. I can’t wait to see it. Their brains and talent and passion will move our world to places we can’t even imagine.
I’ve worked it through for myself, this aging process, so that now I can accept it, embrace it, glory in it and learn from it. We olders are not yet done. Upon our retirement, it will be time for us to transform. This next generation can spark our own creative thinking to help them make even more difference. Who might we become at that next leg of journey?
It’s taken a little getting used to.
But when the time comes, I’ll be ready and all in!