When you graduated from high school? College? The day before you had kids?
The point is that these are all huge transitions: endings and then beginnings. In the world of Hakuna Matata, that’s the circle of life. Getting back to my narrative….Today was MY LAST DAY OF WORK. It is actually RETIREMENT DAY. That is rather significant, don’t you think? So, I look back to other transitions and how I felt then….and NOW.
Speaking generically and I imagine for everyone (since we’ve all gone through at least one of the above), there’s always a sadness at an ending, just because it is an ending. And endings mean that whatever it is you were doing the day before is now history and you’re not quite sure what you’ll be doing the next day. If we are all brutally honest, we also say…hmmmm….I wish I had done this or that better or differently. Like, I should have gone to one less party and studied a little more. Or, I should have gone to one more party and studied a little less. You get my drift. The idealized vision of what we thought would happen isn’t always the reality of the actual experience, right?
So here’s the thing. Looking through the rear view mirror, I really don’t have any regrets about my career, honestly. I say this without bragging and with 20-20 backwards vision. Things have just always worked out for me in my career and without my having necessarily had any plan of action or strategy. It just happened and it always seemed to work out just right.
I mean how many people have had this experience: You’re working for a firm that blows apart and you’re on the wrong side of the split and so you lose your job. But then you find a job instantly and start your great new job on the EXACT day your SIX MONTH severance starts! (I admit it…that was me.) And not only that, the old job ended after I’d been there 5 years and 3 days, when the first pension vesting date was 5 years. Things like that just happened to me. Whether it was financial services or my real first love–City government during the Lindsay years in New York City when public service was where all the smart people went–I have had amazing jobs, worked with exceptional people and moved ahead albeit with normal bumps in the road that pop up in everyone’s career.
So, I really don’t look back and say that I wish I had done this or that differently. I achieved what I wanted to achieve AND was able to spend time with my wonderful family along the way and met a whole lot of great people in the process. AWESOME and continually struck by lucky lightning bolts. Maybe that’s why this transition is actually a bit easier for me now than it was getting out of high school or college…because I did have regrets back then. But not now!