My daily work commute lasts approximately 16 minutes – twenty-six minutes if I stop for coffee and drive against a headwind. This past Monday, was one such morning. Cruising eastward into the morning,’ I turned left and parked at my favorite coffee stop. my personal preference isn’t overly demanding. I don’t order McFluffies, McSwirlies, Starthick, Starlight, Frappy hats, Foamy moats or Starleft. It’s fairly simple–black.
A young woman in front was texting while simultaneously muttering.
“Damn idiot,” shaking her head.
“Oh my god!” she stomped. Yelling at the phone, “I can’t believe you graduated from college” while tossing three 12 ounce cans of ‘legalized speed’ (Red Bull) onto counter.
“Ohhhhhhhhhh,” she groaned. “What a twit.”
Beep. Beep. Beep.
“$8.73. Do you want a bag?“
Momentarily stunned, she looked up, “Huh?“
“$8.73,” the cashier repeated.
Upon entering my floor, I looked through the office window onto a beautiful picture of the 8th floor parking garage. Not a single car. Like clockwork, Ed leaned into my office and greeted the office floor with his version of a doomsday clock.
“Four-hundred-nineteen-days until retirement!”
“Thanks for the update,” I waved, still looking at the garage.
“I’m telling you, ya’all be doomed when I’m gone.”
“Ok,” I waved.
Monday’s are hell. Ha.
It was only after diagnosis did I understand our obsession with career became clear. Nearing retirement, we wonder: How will this place operate without me? Some will have been here thirty-plus years. Others, under five. Me? I’ve been here 13 months. We overestimate criticality: They can’t possibly be able to survive without my expertise?
But after months of no emails or phone calls begging one to return, all us must accept the fact that the world moves on. We are no longer needed.
Here’s the truth: all of us are stuck in a circle of re-birth. not only in this life, buy probably our next as well. If you’re unhappy before retirement, it’s likely you’ll be unhappy after retirement. Same thought holds true for many things in life. If you’re unhappy before marriage, it’s likely you’ll be unhappy after marriage. If you’re unhappy before divorce, it’s likely you’ll be unhappy after divorce. If you’re unhappy before accepting a particular job, it’s likely you’ll be unhappy after accepting said position.
There’s no utopia. Thus, as a personal advice, I’d say do whatever it is that makes you happy. A lot of people take jobs because they pay well. While salary is a factor in any position, the problem is that you will spend more time at work than you do with family, So what you do will become a key driver of happiness. Goods of the soul are far more important than goods of the world.
Do you know the worst two words I ever heard? Too late.
I was ‘too late’ for many things of life. You don’t have to be.
Categories: Life Lessons