There are so many ways to be successful. I never knew this for a long time. One of the things that enlightened me to this was to stop using other people’s measures. And that success comes in small pieces. Mainly along the way before others see success.
I didn’t give myself much credit for success till late in life. I should have but my own measure was way too high and sometimes unrealistic during lots of my early years. I should have been a lot more sure of myself and not full of doubts. I worked hard and made good decisions.
I didn’t appreciate the responsibilities when getting married, getting a home, starting a family, and raising children and would panic throughout those days. I didn’t see the change from myself as a kid in school who didn’t apply himself to a working professional who did. And when I started to climb the ladder I didn’t see myself as an equal, when many times I was probably more experienced and or knowledgeable. I didn’t know how much energy both physically and mentally playing a caregiver role could be and I always questioned myself every step of the way. Only well after her passing did I realize effort.
Success is not always the top management position or lead engineer. Success in your professional career shouldn’t negatively impact your personal life. A lot of top jobs do and it’s hard to keep that balance and perspective.
I struggle with keeping that balance even late in my career at times. I put in extra hours for nothing but far less than I’ve done for most of my life. I love what I do and work hard to be very good at it, but the job is now a means to an end instead of one of the primary forces in my life.
Performance reviews are far from what they were, earlier in life. Yes, I still listen because there is always someone smarter and I hope to pick up some view or knowledge I didn’t have before. Maybe a direction change or role shift. But in regards to how I feel about how other grades of me, they aren’t threatening anymore in the least. I know how I do. Salary reviews don’t hold the weight they used to. No more feeling resentful for too little or overjoyed at a nice one or bonus.
So I’m closer to being at peace with myself than at any point in my life and that is kind of nice. And though I regret the decades without the knowledge and feeling I have now I’m not going to spend time regretting anything from the past but be proud of it because my measures of success now allow me to look back and smile.
I’m also excited to get a jump on retirement, not for the relaxation or the travel or the resting on past laurels or reminiscing about the old days. I look forward to creating much through the arts of images, words, carvings, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Also on my making my better half happy and laughing. And most of all seeing my children and grandchildren grow up and inspire them. And I won’t be offended by being known as the old guy who likes classic rock music loud once in a while.
Random Thoughts of the Day
- If I were smart I’d give up drinking so many Cokes. But my taste buds apparently have veto power over the brain.
- My son has been kicking my behind in football picks this year. Which is a good reminder of why I gave up gambling many decades ago.
- The home office remake begins today. Well, at least I’ll begin picking it up a bit.
- I get to see my son’s new foster dog today. I had better get the cameras out.