Today is February 1, 2023. I retired from my High Tech Corporate job yesterday after 31.5 years. It is a large corporation, and I grew up there. I had a few other jobs before I started in 1991; however, they were co-op (intern) positions or gigs. Leaving my first real job after all this time was both hard and easy. Both sad and exhilarating. It’s been interesting reflecting on my feelings as people ask me what it feels like. It’s everything you think it will be and more. A sense of accomplishment and wonder as to what will come next.
Almost every day, I get up at 5:15 am and go to Pilates class. Living in Oregon, we are surrounded by tall evergreen trees. One of my favorite views is the silhouette of the trees against the early morning sky. The majesty of the trees reminds me of how much they’ve weathered throughout their lifetime to grow as tall and strong as they are. Wind, ice, snow, rain, heat, smoke, construction, and drought strengthened them as they grew their roots deeper and wider to find sustenance and survival.
I think about us and how we’re not very different from those trees. We weather medical leaves, promotions, pregnancy, divorce, deaths, births, layoffs, reorganizations, downsizing, recessions, pandemics, changes in customer demand, and new competitors entering the marketplace. We must ‘grow stronger roots’ by building resilience, networking, mentoring, developing expertise, and honing our ability to handle change. We build stronger roots by experiencing the changes and weathering the adversity.
As you face adversity each day, think about the trees. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, sustenance, community, music, friendship, and learning. Remember to breathe and try to limit your screen time. Get out into nature. Touch the trees. Feel the bark. Marvel at their strength and resilience. You can build strength and reslience too. I believe in you.