Finishing the day-job brings with it a wider freedom – a freedom that I have missed over the past forty years.
Some of the responsibilities are still there of course – caring and sharing with family, managing routine domestic issues, generally keeping the show on the road, but now there is more, much more.
I realised a long time ago that I wasn’t saying things – I wasn’t speaking out in ways that I could have because I was contained by the discipline of a career. In the beginning, forty years ago, this discipline was ok. Fresh and inexperienced, I needed it to gain necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills. But as the years went by that learning process never stopped. As soon as I reached one level of expertise, there was another level to reach – an opportunity I admit that I mostly grabbed with both hands. And once I reached that level another one appeared so that my whole career was spent on a never-ending spiral of hope and anticipation. The feeling became that however good I was, it wasn’t yet good enough. This is the product of my generation: the quest for personal and professional improvement – a quest that has developed into a habit. I don’t wish to diminish it but I do want to recognise it.
Well before the end of my career, I began to look outwards. Master of my own small world, I could see a wider one that I wanted to explore – not as a professional shaped by a career but as a person in my own right. Now the container has been opened and I am free to take that step. Of course the need-to-improve habit is still there – (I am doing this course!). However, what has gone is the particular line I was being directed along. Now I am in a position to start again. Now we will see if there is anything in there worth bringing out.