It’s my life again

Just over two weeks ago I retired from my main occupation as General Secretary at ETBI where I had served for 21 years. In fact I had been in employment for 45 years and served in a senior management position for 38 of those years. I had to demonstrate vision, develop strategic plans, set and achieve goals , manage and motivate staff and try to manage myself. All that action for others has now ended and my life is no longer entwined with my work and occupation.
While I had been afraid of transitioning to this phase of my life ( I have called it ” refirement” ) it is not such a bleak existence at all. While I am still President of the European Federation of Education Employers ( EFEE) this is an honorary position with periods of business. Much of my time is therefore my own but more important is the fact that my life is my own to live and do what I like to do or what I want to do . I can live for myself because I now own my life for the first time in my adult existence. I am not serving another entity or organisation; I am serving myself . Can you believe in that freedom and how it feels ?! So far so good.
Yes I have been warned to have a structure in my life so I do spend a lot of time in my office but working on my own projects which had been delayed for years. I have planned my week and month ahead . I can pursue my interests and some of what I now do relates to my previous career activities but much of my time is spent on a writing project I have long wanted to do. Yes I am still busy but it is my timetable and my agenda not that of my employer.
I am still relatively young so I want to grow and enhance my future life through self- directed learning . But most of all I want to see can I assist some others in leadership or management roles.
Whatever I do it will be what I want to do and that is the key that has opened the door to my new-found freedom. There is no weight on my shoulder;no long to-do lists; no series of problems or log-jams requiring solutions.
I was afraid for what life might be after retirement but I am surprised so far. Maybe this is an initial semi-euphoric state and I will fall to earth soon enough. Those of you further down this road might smile knowingly about what awaits me in this transitioning process but I am prepared to stay positive, provide leadership to myself and set out my vision for myself. If I have done that for years for the organisations I have led then I can certainly now do it for me.

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