“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
~ Mark Twain
My son has been foreman on a retirement residence building project for the past eighteen months. He’s worked long and hard. Yesterday, was the final inspection and they received the occupancy permit. It was a big day. His excitement and fulfillment at a job well done came through loud and clear as we texted back and forth last evening. It was a proud mama moment.
it reminded me of my former working life and how I used to feel after a successful system conversion or project implementation. The jubilation as the last step was crossed off a go-live checklist was sweet. The satisfaction of having worked hard and seen something through to completion was fulfilling. I wondered, as the time drew near for my retirement, if I would miss that experience.
My answer, three and a half years after I left my corporate job is yes. And no.
The adrenaline rush I once got on implementation day or night was amazing. I loved it. I loved working hard and long to bring something to fruition. I loved creating, contributing to, and working go-live checklists. I loved test runs. I loved little glitches that required quick thinking and swift action to rectify. I loved all of it. (Well, most of it.)
Michael’s excitement last evening reminded me of how much I once loved my work, and the satisfaction it brought, and for the briefest of moments I missed it.
Then I paused and considered my life today.
I have the opportunity to write, and read, and learn according to my schedule; no longer limited to precious pockets of time carved out at the end of the work day or on a weekend.
My work fulfills me in a different and deeper way as I tend my garden and preserve the season’s bounty. Seeing my canning shelves fill up at this time of year is so satisfying.
On days when I feel a need to, I can take it slow without having to justify my reasons.
I can take an afternoon walk through the rose garden with my husband; grateful, oh so grateful.
i can sip coffee and enjoy good conversation in a shop with a friend in the middle of the day.
I can sit on the deck with a cup of tea and watch the grouse family stroll by on their afternoon walkabout.
I can, finally, inhabit my home in a way I once longed to.
I sleep well.
No more Sunday evening pit in the stomach feeling.
I see and experience simple things that once passed by in a blur, unnoticed and certainly unappreciated, like the change of seasons, migrating birds, and so many other magical things in God’s creation.
Our granddaughter can spend a week with us.
I can enjoy long telephone conversations.
I can watch the sun rise and greet the day with gratitude.
These things, and so many more, satisfy me in a way that the adrenalin rushes of my past life never could. It was a good run; I’m glad to have taken it but I’m more than content, and feel abundantly blessed, to be on this side where life is slower but so much sweeter.
Contentment, at this stage of my life, tastes much better than adrenaline; it’s better for the body and mind too.