Should I _____? Fill in the blank. Go ahead, no judgment here!
When we start “shoulding” on ourselves, it is usually someone else’s voice we are hearing. We think we know the “right” answer. Yes, I should…. Fill in the blank.
Most of us have something we are ambivalent about. Should is a tension between what we want to do, and what we think we should do. It can be as simple as saying yes or no to a party invitation or as complicated as deciding to change careers. Each decision is weighted with the responsibility of accepting the consequences of a yes and the consequences of a no. Either way, there are risks. Either way, there are benefits. Often, there are no do-overs.
Almost a year ago, very close to turning 65, I was stagnating in a dead end job, enjoying biweekly paycheques, fun people to work with and not much else. Like many other baby boomers, I did not plan for retirement and that paycheque was mighty attractive. My mother’s voice said I SHOULD stay in my nice stable job and keep collecting that paycheque! How could I live on CPP and OAS? It did not bear thinking about. I could not stop thinking about it. Eventually, a plan began to form that would give me a financial cushion to explore starting a small business.
The pain of staying had become greater than the fear of being poor. I did not renew my contract when it ended. Yikes! What have I done? It was a big risk. What if my plan failed and I did not get EI? What if I could not get into the Self Employment Program? What if I got sick? What if the business failed? What if? What if? What if?
Is your head starting to hurt? Mine was!
In my case, I did get EI, I did get support through the self-employment program and I am wading my way through the first year of being in business. Sometimes it feels like a swamp. It isn’t a success story YET. The very interesting part has been the last few days when I was asked to temp for my old company while someone was on leave. It has confirmed my decision to leave. I am more alive, more challenged and more interesting than I was a year ago. Should I have stayed? Hell no!
Sandie convinced her mother at the age of two that a set of books would make her much happier than a tricycle. Then came diaries, school projects and heartfelt poetry - a writer was born. Reading and writing have been constant and faithful lovers ever since. This blog is an attempt to release some of the fleeting thoughts and crazy ideas in a place that may become another form of diary, but this time, one that talks back! Would love to hear from anyone who is inspired to rebut, dig further, validate or in any way comment on what has been written.