Life’s Timeline

Small business people on chess board

Small business people on chess board — MSN Clipart

I’m noticing things are different, this time, after I retired in April 2012. It’s no longer an “in-between jobs” mindset. I’m in a good place and more settled and connected than ever. I feel as if my heart and head are coming together with purpose and meaning. 

Maybe, it’s true that life shows up in repetitive patterns. I had to come back around and revisit this “stay-at-home” place with no phones, meetings, deadlines . . . structure. I think I’m finally figuring it out this time around. At least, I don’t feel the need to chase an expectation or preconceived ambition with conditions.

I was trying too hard last time, when I was in between jobs. I hadn’t put all the pieces together and wasn’t quite content and complete within myself. I was on the rebound, doing what was expected of me in reaction to the loss of a regular paycheck. This time, I’m further along in the process of understanding myself and making sense of it.

My prior 12-year job evaporated in 2002, when the company relocated to headquarters on the east coast and I transitioned by launching my own business ― talking-stick workshops. I registered a trade name with the state, became a sole proprietor and produced a website. I attended leads groups, chambers of commerce, Kiwanis and a number of other business networking groups. In my mind, I was doing all the things you needed to do to get a business off the ground. I advertised and contacted companies, campaigned leaving brochures, business cards, gave inspirational talks, workshop presentations and composed a 4-series program.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to put out something that would benefit others and, in my little corner, make it a better world. But, obviously I was missing something. After 4 years, I had nothing to show for my efforts except my spinning wheels. It then came time to reenter the structured workplace once again.

I was fortunate to reenter having something to contribute in office skills and a little mortgage loan experience I learned along the way. At least, it got me in the door after being out of a company workplace for 6 years.

I must say, that time around, I felt a little disoriented rejoining the workplace, a little older and not as up-to-speed, technologically, with the latest and greatest web whizzes. I was a little put out with myself and a bit upset with the universe. “Why was I repeating this again after having done this for so many years? Hadn’t I given it my all?”  My heart wasn’t in it, yet it was necessary to maintain and help pay bills.

Woman Sitting in Front of Computer with Her Head in Her Hands

Woman Sitting in Front of Computer with Her Head in Her Hands by MSN Clipart

I adjusted and learned new skills and acclimated to the new, fast-paced workplace. It wasn’t so bad.

I made some new friends and, after some self-reflection and modification, I felt like I was finally a part of a team.

That took a span of 4 years and I loved it. I could have worked another 10+ years but the universe had another plan, with another dissolved job outsourced out-of-state. I suppose the idea was not to get too comfortable.

I was transitioning back, again, to staying home. But, this time, I wasn’t looking back and for some reason I wasn’t worried about the future and what it may hold. I felt as if I had arrived and was done with the company, office-type jobs. I had gone back for more pieces to the puzzle and found how they fit together for me.

I knew I wanted to pick up my writing again. So, I started with that and I’m pouring my heart into it like I did the talking-stick workshops. It’s funny. I have a better perspective this time and I’m learning a lot about myself in the process. As I open from the inside and unfold, the writing gets more pure. I sometimes wonder if this was the purpose all along to learn how to become more in tune and how to freely express it.

Isn’t it interesting how we spend most of our lives entering the back door or side window instead of boldly going to the front door to introduce ourselves? At least, that’s how I’ve felt most of my life, always holding back a part of me in reserve.

I don’t know what lies ahead or exactly what course of direction to take. I just know, for the first time in my life, I have the pieces and I’m working on putting them together with a new, fresh excitement. I’m slowing things down and eliminating the chatter in my head and I’m learning to listen and feel what rings true in my heart. After all, when it’s all said and done, what remains is the feeling in the hearts of those you know and love and what you did with the chances and gifts that came your way.

Men Walking in the Woods

Men Walking in the Woods by MSN Clipart

How about you? Where are you on your timeline and what changes would you make, if you could?

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table


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10 thoughts on “Life’s Timeline

  1. That previous experience was obviously needed Pat as it helped your personal growth and now you are reaping the rewards. You are comfortable in your own skin and this reflects beautifully as your express your words so eloquently in your blogs. Thanks for sharing Pat!

    • You’re welcome, Joanne. Yes it did help. I didn’t realize it at first but I finally caught on and by then I was in store for another change, which is where I’m at now. I’m still a work in progress and I’m getting better at listening, putting the pieces together slowly and following the flow of where I’m directed. 🙂

  2. Hi Pat,

    What an awesome post! I am in between at the moment. I am in between writing and needing to pull in some cash, a negative experience and trying to turn it into a positive outcome, and letting go while shaping the future; all of which is a delicate balance. Some days I’m not sure if I’m stepping forward or stepping back, and I try to remind myself that even stepping back is still always a step forward, in its own right.

    Thank you for sharing! Michelle.

    • Thank you Michelle – I’m glad you enjoyed the read — it sounds like you’re experiencing some similar things. I get where you’re at and is confusing. It gets hard to listen, when you’re brain is chattering and won’t shut up long enough to get your bearings.

      You’ll find the right direction and course to take. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of trusting where you’re at right now is perfect in the bigger scheme of things and trusting yourself. You’ve never let yourself down before and won’t this time. 🙂

  3. I can relate so well to your post. Like you, I officially retired from going out to work. I was self-employed as a writer for many years, working from home, and when the work dried up re-entered the work force to put in an occasional couple of months here and there . It didn’t work for me…I was too used to working for myself, being my own boss. So I officially retired and now I am back doing what I love most – writing – and loving it! Oh, and I supplement my retirement income with Tarot readings, the odd workshop, and occasional paying house guests that need a temporary home. I am thoroughly enjoying this stage of my life…and you sound like you are too, Pat. We’ve earned it!

    • OMG Bev – I’m so glad you left a comment here, as I knew you never commented without the WordPress option in lieu of CommentLuv. Thank you!!

      I enjoyed reading about your personal experiences too. It sounds like you’ve transitioned quite well. I was just the opposite of you in that I always worked in a company-office environment and going out on my own (not by my choosing) was a challenge and I’m right back at it again. Do you think the universe is trying to get my attention here?

      Like you, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself, as it unfolds with the writing, and who knows what else there is for me in my “cards” — another talking-stick program?? It’s an adventure. Maybe, the universe will arrange a way to bring in some financial benefits along the way too. I’ve never had that happen on my own. I’m having fun doing what I know to do now, watching and listening for those subtle synchronistic clues guiding me onto the next step. 🙂

  4. Hello Pat,

    As I promised you, I would have more time taking a closer look at the link you sent to me.

    While reading that article, I don’t know why, but I felt it as a duplicate of my own professional life. Like you, I was caught in the professional circle of being an employee in a company, having a stable work, having a stable professional situation, etc. I also thought I was happy like that… Then I took time to think about it, and I realised it wasn’t really me.

    My true passion and personality reside also in witing. I love writing since long, but I was caught up so deeply into the routine of tertiary sciences studies and job opportunities that I forgot that part of me : writing.

    Then I decided to stop everything one day and becoming what I want to do in real life : freelance wirter and being self-employed by selling my work through an independent chain of distribution. I’m actually working on it and hope it will work someday.

    • Hi Uma – thank you visiting and leaving a message. I think most of us can relate in one way or another — not sure what to do with our lives or how to get there. Some of us find we are spending most of our lives living it for someone else and not doing what we really want. I’m glad you’ve found your path and that you’re happy with writing.

      It’s good to see you over here and I hope you come back again for another visit and reads. You’re welcome at my internet “kitchen table” anytime. 🙂

  5. Hi Pat,
    It was nice to read this stuff. About my timeline, well I would say it’s just the begining, 8 yrs in job..but with every passing year, I see a new image, new struggle, new politics, new developments, new improvements, new ways of dealing with problems & the moment I feel..I have seen so many phases, I land up in a totally different experience. Some of them are positive & worth remembering, while others are just learning. Life is full of surprises. Just wish that I sail through all of them smoothly & wisely.

    • Thank you Akanksha – I’m glad you could relate in the reading of this post to your timeline. Seems like we’re all in different stages. It’s good to observe and learn as much as we can while we’re in one of those stages — maybe we won’t have to go back and repeat it again, LOL, and then again, if we do, maybe we’re supposed to. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.

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