Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Other Life

Yesterday by Pure Serendipity I ran into a Dear Old Friend and previous Co-Worker from my Corporate Life, which I now refer to as "The Other Life".  And it certainly seems like a Lifetime ago, to them and to me, since I totally Disconnected from it and went off the Corporate Grid.  It's always Wonderful to Re-connect to the Old Friends from it though, I do miss them even though I don't miss "The Other Life"... it just becomes harder to spend Quality Time Together since "That Life" can totally Consume you. 
So I totally 'Get It' when too much Time goes by before you can spend any Time Together or hear from each other, I have no Delusions about what a Corporate Life takes to Maintain.  It's not that they don't want to, it's often that they just can't with the demands of the Career and the long Hours and Personal Sacrifices it requires.  Sacrifices I decided I was no longer willing to make and was Clearly the Right Choice for me.  They would like to see me come back... for a variety of reasons... but they know I won't, it's not a part of my Life anymore. 
You see, often the demands and the long Hours take a toll on all Relationships, including Family... and it's always Sad when I know that a highly Successful Friend, who is also a Wonderful Person, has Experienced that aspect of it, and it's not just Friends who have fallen away in their Lives... mostly due to "The Other Life".  It can cause significant Personal Sacrifices and Collateral Damage even if the Career is going Stellar and you're a complete Success in the Corporate World.  To Whom Much is Given... Much is Required... so you have to weigh the Costs... and sometimes Re-define Success or what you're Willing to Sacrifice. 
I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to Succeed in a Corporate Life, I Enjoyed the Fruits of that Success and I actually Enjoyed what I did for a Living and was Good at it, attaining every Goal I set for myself.  So there was a Measure of Pride and Accomplishment that fed my Ego and my Bank Account... and Provided quite well for my Family... but I'm not sure it ever really fed my Soul.  And I know that the Personal Sacrifices Entailed were never an easy decision for me, though I was never one to throw my Family under the bus for any Career, they didn't get as much of me as they do now... so the Disconnect from "The Other Life" was long overdue in my opinion and in Retrospect I might have done it much earlier.  I got to the Place where I knew I just didn't want to do it anymore.  I also didn't want to be Defined by what I did for a Living... since a Career to me was always more a means to an end and separate from what fueled my Heart. 
This hand-sewn Plaque captures the Sentiment best... may the Blessings of each day be the Blessings you Need most.  For me the Blessings Needed most were those Associated with Focus on the Family at the exclusion of Maintaining a Career, whatever that Cost.  And it did come at an Expected Cost... I Forfeited more than one Corporate Career and a Huge chunk of Pension that had been Years in the Making and Attaining of in order to do the Right Thing for us.  So the decision wasn't rash or made lightly and often Friends from "The Other Life" are still Amazed I Walked Away and from so much, taking that Risk, which was mostly Financial and certainly eroded some Measure of Security at a pivotal point at this Advanced Season of Life.
After all... we were Raising a Second Family well into our Old Age... and The Man's Health was already on the decline and he'd been Medically Retired at the time I decided to Step Off the Corporate Grid with Early Retirement and into my "New Life"... which the Future of was uncertain on how it might Play Out?!?  Financial Analysts would certainly have warned it could be Financial Suicide and since I used to do Financial Counseling for Families in Crisis during one of my Corporate Lives, I recognized the Risks associated with my decision, so it was a big Step of Faith... well, more like a Leap of Faith actually.  So it was something I had to have a Peace about, along with Divine Partnership and Direction in and Godly Intervention to Succeed at.
I Cast the End Results upon the Lord to Sustain us... however He chose to... and I would just Follow in Faith, taking it one Step at a time in the Direction He pointed me in.  It has been an Incredible Journey and He has been Faithful and Strengthened me and my Faith in the Process.  My Friends from "The Other Life" still Marvel in how it has Played Out, for it has been a Good Testimony too... this Test.  And they're very Happy for me, at where I am Now and in what I'm Pursuing as my Passion and what is Feeding my Soul and bringing me Joy and Contentment... even though they know and understand it has been a difficult Journey at times due to our particular Circumstances on a Personal level.  The adaptations have been significant and still must often be re-adjusted and re-evaluated as necessary and I don't have it all Figured Out or know what the Future holds?
But I do know I'll be Okay with whatever it is and Continue to Trust my Lord and Consult Him Daily in what Direction I should go.  I'm having more Fun than I ever thought I could have relinquishing Control, since I AM a Self-Professed Control Freak so that part was not easy.   Stepping Out Blindly In Faith and not knowing where the Journey is actually taking me was very different for me since I'm a long-range Planner usually and so it went against my very Nature.  And at first I Confess it was Scary... REAL Scary and the Fear could paralyze you if you let it.  That Fear of the Unknown and doing New Things that just Follow your Heart but seem a bit reckless and Crazy!  Because you're sorta earning while you're learning and the skill set is not yet Refined and certainly not Perfected... so you're definitely at Entry Level in this Adventure.  It is like walking on water, logically you know you should sink, but in Spirit you know that God can defy all logic and Wordly Standards to His Glory so you have to just Trust Him, be Still and Know He's God!!!
I do hold His Hand so freakin' tight at times that it's a good thing He is able to Comfort me to a level I can sometimes Let Go and Let God do His Thing in our Lives without Feeling total Panic and wanting to step back into the boat and off the water I'm walking upon!  I know that I have to keep my Eyes firmly focused upon Him otherwise I do risk sinking if I start looking around me at the Storms of Life swirling the waters and rocking the boat, often violently... or look down at my feet and see that I'm literally walking on water and that's quite a Head Trip!!!
And it certainly Helps to think back at what all of our Ancestors and their Contemporaries overcame and survived.  My Trials and Tribulations pale by comparison and our Blessings are many fold compared to what they must have Endured and Sacrificed to do the Right Thing in their Time to accommodate their Circumstances in a way they too had to find a Peace about.  Though it might have seemed foreign and obviously took major Adaptation and significant Sacrifice.  But I do know the Spirits of those Ancestors are with us also and Rejoice in our Victories and offer Strength and Encouragement in our daily battles.  This Image is from my Friend Hugh's Amazing Collection of Museum Quality Native American pieces of History and is of a Strong, Proud Blackfoot Chief.   His Image reminds me of my own Dad... one of the Strongest, Faithful, Godly and Proudest Men I have ever known, Imparting Great Wisdom and Cultural Pride to his Children in spite of much Adversity and Personal Challenges.
I often Meditate upon what Dad would have Advised when I came to him for Counsel.  I know he would have told me to Consult God and move in that Direction without hesitation or fear... and if by chance you are fearful, then just Do It Afraid, but don't you show it!  *Smiles*  If my Dad was ever Afraid in his Lifetime nobody would have ever known it because he NEVER showed it!  His Countenance was absolutely Fearless and his Heart was always filled with God's Amazing Love extended towards others even if they might not have always deserved it!  Dad's Example always Impressed me, he didn't just talk the talk, he walked the walk... and I Hope to follow in those footsteps even though they're not easy to fill!
And as my own footsteps leave "The Other Life" further and further behind in what seems like a Lifetime ago I am even more Excited about the Journey before me than I was when I first embarked upon it.  Because most of the Fear is now gone and even most of the Anxiety when I hit bumps in the road along the Path I've Chosen.  And as many of my Corporate Life Friends are now reaching the Point of Retirement they are Considering the Possibilities of perhaps Joining me on parts of the Journey and that is really an Encouragement to each of us.   You see, Kindred Spirits do tend to Gravitate Towards each other in any "Life" you're Experiencing... and so many of my Corporate Friends also Shared similar Personal Passions outside of the Career Fields Chosen.  And the Dear Friend I just ran into is an avid Junquer... and we Plan to Join each other in Junquing Adventures in the Future as the demands of her busy and Successful Career wind down... and I'm really looking forward to that as much as I'm sure she is! 
And she's certainly gonna stop by our Antique Mall and check out my New Adventure and Journey... what I Feel Called to now do to Feed my Soul... and just Feels Right in my Spirit to be Pursuing at this Season of Life... Expanding the Dream, the Territory and the Vision even further... in Faith.
Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


1 comment:

  1. I can so understand. I retired in Dec. I had planned to sometime this. It was frightening to think I was really doing it. But I am so much happier. I loved the work I did (Peds Oncology nurse) and miss my co-workers. But the stress of such a physically and emotionally draining job is gone.

    I'm still working on managing my time better. I seem to keep thinking oh, I can do that tomorrow. We have been super busy with things from the garden.

    Isn't it a great feeling to know you made the right decision for you?


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl