The sun was peeking into the room; Lucy was perched on the arm of the window bench noticing the birds as they awakened. She began to chirp along with the bluebirds and the finches, starting a symphony outside my bedroom window. My eyes opened and looked at the clock. It was 6:15am. I closed my eyes again and 15 minutes later, Lucy was standing on top of me in the bed imploring me to get up and feed her, it was breakfast time. What a difference a few months make, breakfast used to be about 5am! She has adjusted nicely to the later breakfast time, earlier dinner time, and me home every night. She has even become accustomed to my dad being here, waking him up on the mornings I just won’t get up yet!
Strolling out of bed with only Lucy as my alarm clock on most days is so freeing and stress-free. It is part of what I have discovered about me through the first 3 months retired from corporate life. I thought I was a morning person, only productive in the morning. I thought I was drained every night, not being able to do much. I thought I was indispensable on some things, so I needed to be in contact on a daily basis even during vacation. All of these thoughts were due to the construct of my adult life, actually shaped by a corporation and not by me. I became molded by this construct.
I am in the process of breaking out of that mold.
I still sometimes think in an 8am to 5pm construct. I almost gave up the opportunity to take some yoga classes and Pilates classes on the reformer because they weren’t at 6 or 7am. Then I realized, “Suzy, you can schedule what you want when you want it.” That is when I decided that the Monday, 10 am time slot for a group Pilates class was exactly what I needed to start my week. I also realized that the yoga class on Thursday was a really good one for me and was at 10:30. I can schedule my life the way I want it, so why continue to be in this start early mindset. I had the opportunity to mold me, not be molded.
As I began my journey to mold and shape the future, I needed to think about and consider what I do and do not miss from my years in corporate. This helped me really focus on what I want, how I want it and will keep me focused.
I certainly do not miss driving a minimum of an hour each way for work. Walking into my office which is next to my bedroom is great. I am less frustrated and fresher when I do jump into work. I also have time for meditating first thing in the morning since I don’t commute, which has altered my life and my being. I no longer fill a gas tank 3 times in week. I don’t fill a gas tank any- where near as often as I used to do, maybe once per week! Even my schedule is different. I used to be in back to back meetings, which was such a grind. There was time to think, rest, be creative. I am not now and I don’t plan to be if I can help it. I like the looser day, with space to create, time to rest, time to run to the store or the gym. In my corporate life, I had little real control over my calendar, now it is all mine. And I am spacing things out and giving myself room to learn and grow.
There are some things that I miss a bit. I miss people. I miss the camaraderie. I miss some of the people who I thought were my friends beyond the workplace. I don’t hear from people as much as I thought I would, I don’t reach out as much either. I remember when I came home from Japan after the first 7 weeks away. I felt out of place, the world kept moving in New Jersey while I was 7000 miles away. I didn’t know what was happening and couldn’t jump right in. In fact it took a few days and I couldn’t wait to go back to Tokyo the first time. Then I thought a lot about it and realized that life did have to go on. I remember thinking that must have been what it was like when people were in the armed forces or fighting a war, and away from home for a year. Everything is changed when you get home, but your expectation is that it is all the same. I have that same feeling now when I talk to people from work. Things have already changed dramatically and I don’t know what is going on. I feel out of place and strange. It feels out of place and strange. There are some people I know I need to reach out to more, for me.
As I move forward, I want to take some of the things I miss with me, creating camaraderie in the coaching arena, staying in touch with those who I may be able to collaborate with, or whose minds I cherish; or perhaps who is truly my friend versus colleague. I want to keep some structure, better creating that space for me, but some predictability as well.
This transition is quite an awakening for me, as I move to a higher level of consciousness. This transition has already calmed me down, helped me grow, scared the hell out of me and made me proud…all at once. And that was only 3 months! What will the rest of the year have in store?
I don’t know but I do know that I like the calmness this has created, the space for me to be more creative, and the time for me to focus on my development and growth. The construct is broken; I am no longer a slave to a fake structure and labels. I was a “morning person.”
Now I am a “whenever I want to be” person.
I like it.