[This is an entry in my project to write something every day in the 100 days before my retirement, reflecting on my career and life]
90 Days Until Retirement
June 2, 2018
Today is Saturday and I started my day early, as the sun came up, with a coffee, sitting in our backyard. I was surrounded by quiet, interrupted only by the swishing sound of the tree leaves in the breeze. Perfect stillness, the cool air, the colourful flowers, the blue of the pool water, took my mind to one train of thought: how blessed am I?
So I counted my blessings.
The decision to retire from my job was not an easy one, and since making the decision, I have spent a lot of time in reflection. Looking back, peering forward. Excited, scared witless, sad, angry, happy, morose, maudlin, exhilarated, exhausted. I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture.
Some of my backward thinking has made me sad and angry and there are days when I am full of regret and I get on the “only if” train for a ride down memory lane. And I’m dealing with that crap. The missed opportunities. The lost friends.
But most days my reminiscing goes to counting my blessings and being ever so thankful for my family, my friends, my job(s), and all the other components that make up this life of mine.
Because this journal of the 100 days before retirement has been in the main about my jobs, I want to write about how lucky I have been with the jobs I have had since Mrs. MacLeod hired me to ‘manage’ her daughter Kim’s birthday party. I can honestly say that since then, I have only had one job that was horrible, and I only stayed with it to pay the bills while I feverishly looked for something better.
I have had only two formal interviews before being hired at jobs. One was for my job at Canadian Arctic Gas Pipeline Ltd. and the other was for my horrible job at JDS Fitel Inc. (All other jobs I got through referrals and references.) The interview with my future boss at JDS Fitel should have set off alarm bells but I was desperate for a job so I ignored his chauvinism, his ignorance and rudeness, and the fact that he made my skin crawl. At the time, I was on maternity leave with no job to return to (the story around this will be the subject of several entries to this journal).
My two years at JDS Fitel taught me how to fight, how to stand up for myself, how to take a stand against blatant racism and misogyny, and how to never give up. So for all of that, I thank the miserable bastard who was my boss.
Every other job I have had has been a blessing. I have worked with some strange people but I turned them into fodder for my first two books, so how lucky was I? Wonderful co-workers, interesting work, fantastic managers, successful companies, and so much more have given me a wonderful career for which I am forever grateful.