Forty years of pulling on the oars is hard to walk away from. You get used to getting up in the morning and trudging to work. You get used to being the “goto” person for problem solving because it makes you feel important. Now I sit on top of the deck trying to relax while others do the rowing. I sit on the deck drinking mint juleps and listening to the oars as they dip in and out of the water. I want to tell them which direction to take. I want to tell them to grab hold of the handle with both hands, and their stomach and chest should be resting against the tops of their thighs. But, I don’t.
It feels like I’m slacking off. They say I deserve it. They say I’ve earned it. They say, I owe it to myself, but even after 5 years, there’s still a bit of nostalgia for smelling the sweat of hard work and wiping the tears from failures. Nostalgia for “being the boss.” It is still hard.
The funny thing is I know I’ve earned it. As I drive by office buildings in the late evening, I see people working at their desks and I’m so glad I’m not in there with them. I look through office windows and see people sitting around conference tables. When walking through hotels, I see all the conferences in progress. And I ask myself…. What am I missing? Do I miss working late evenings? NO. Do I miss the endless non-productive meetings? NO. Do I miss wagging the dog? SOMETIMES just because it’s fun.
Now I get to sit on the dock of the Bay. I get to climb the highest mountains. I get to travel the world. I get to explore museums and road trip with my husband. I get to sit indoors on a snowy day and crank up the fireplace as others go to work.
Would I rather be in the hole pulling on the oars? NO. I’ve earned my mint juleps and I’m going to drink my fill!