In August I read that the Reserve Bank were predicting the unemployment rate would get to 10% by the end of the year (McKinsey Report). Technically, I don’t show up in that statistic yet. (Actually, I prefer to think of myself as being employed in something I want to be doing, for a season at least.)
Thankfully I had about eight weeks to prepare for my new life, once I mentally adjusted to accepting a redundancy as my best option. I opted for this partly to hit the reset button: To look at life a little differently, having been in continuous full time employment for over 35 years. All those countless meetings, emails, presentations, reports, proposals – all put on hold, just for a little. A bit of time to think, review and make sense of a life that barely registers as a blip among the 7 billion souls living on our restless planet.
What I concluded in my earliest musings surprised me. I wanted to write.
Not emails, or reports or presentations. I wanted to write stories. Stories I have observed, stories I’ve been a part of and stories that are yet untold. For years I’ve been reading, thinking, observing, wondering and imagining all sorts of things. So much of my life is spent in my head. It’s time some of it came out. And, that what this site is all about. I’m hoping my stories will connect with others and community will form around it. Time will tell.
Most of the stories will connect with workplace experiences, because I realise so much of life is done on the job. But, more deeply, I want to explore relationships that are at the centre of our stories. We don’t bring anyone else with us when we come to work. We come with all our joy, hope, disappointment, fear as well as our formal skills and knowledge. I’ve rarely seen workplaces fully appreciate this. I guess this is partly because so much of our workplaces are determined by bottom-line or left-brain thinking. Even charities. But, no finger pointing on my part without first taking the log out of my own eye!
So, for the next phase of life for me, I’d like to give myself to unpacking a few of my stories. Of course, I don’t want to embarrass anyone (except perhaps myself), so details may change a little to protect people. I also want to unpack other people’s stories. My hope is that eventually people will feel free to share what they have experienced and learned.
In a sense, this is a bit of an experiment as I try to take seriously what William Bridges writes in his book, Transitions. I’m dealing with the ending of one part of my life to attend to a new chapter. When I’m 90, I don’t want to look back and regret that I wasted this opportunity to stop, reflect and consider what has passed before I launch into the future.