I turned 46 years old last week. No big deal in most ways. I got over most of the stuff about being in my mid 40s the previous year, when on surveys and questionnaires I suddenly went from the 40-44 box to the 45-49 box. (had a good day though, thanks everyone for the Twitter and Facebook birthday wishes).
Then I started thinking, only four years until I turn 50. Which in turn made me think about what I have achieved so far in life. Well, to begin with I was only thinking about my working life.
I had wanted to be a librarian since I was in Grade 6. And I did it, went straight through school, into uni and started my first job the week after classes finished. When I first started work, I was happy to be working as a librarian, so didn’t think too much about career directions, but then I got some experience and decided I did want to climb the tree and get into senior management. And I was on the track, until I got married and had kids, when priorities changed.
And here I am approaching the big 5 0 and it hasn’t happened and because of other things in my life, I don’t know that I will see it happen before I get there. And that hit me like a ton of bricks. The disappointment mainly. I have a lot to give in terms of knowledge, experience, ideas, enthusiasm and more. I felt I was missing out on the opportunity to do something significant, at that higher level and that was hard to accept. What was even harder, was realising that its nobody’s fault.
That was hard to accept as well, knowing that its not my work place’s fault, nor my family’s, or even mine. Its just the way life is working out for me. There are bigger priorities in my life that preclude me from pursuing that dream at this time.
I was talking to a workmate about it and she reminded me that the dream wasn’t dead, it was just the timeline needed adapting. And then amazingly, another workmate, whose birthday is close to mine and is of a similar mind, said something that really settled it for me. It was along the lines of, even though I’m not in the place I expected to be in my career, I have the most amazing family in the world. And even if my career never gets to where I dream it could be, I would not change it for the world, because of them.
But in the meantime, while the dream may be late, or may even be dead, that doesn’t mean I need to be the same in my profession. So I’ll continue my learning journey and I will continue with sharing my craft with those who are interested, from informal situations at work to conference presentations, articles and of course, this blog. I still have a lot to give, even if the giving is not where I dreamed it would be at this stage of my life.
And you never know, life has a way of surprising you……………………..