Tuesday, March 13, 2007

With a Heavy Heart

Today my heart is heavy. I mean really heavy. It's as though the blood and anger have been drained and replaced by some heavy cold metal.

After THE BIG MEETING yesterday, I totally understand how a leader in a country with a parliamentary system feels when he or she loses a vote of confidence. It's this feeling of total rejection, where you continue to ask yourself, "Why didn't they believe in me?"

It's interesting that until the moment of truth yesterday, I had a small hope that the two bosses would finally say something to the effect of: "We now get what you've been saying. You have our full support. Go back and do your job." But instead, it was obvious to me that the decision had already been made prior to my meeting. They continued to say: "We agree with much of what you are saying, but we are still choosing to do this other thing. We also acknowledge that you have been quite unfairly treated by these other people, but there's nothing at all that we can do about it." At which point, I found myself wondering why in the world I would want to work for people with this mentality under any circumstance.

I left work yesterday in somewhat of a blur. Fortunately I was on my way to play duets with Deborah. What better medicine to clear my mind and put things in perspective!

Deborah and I had an interesting discussion about retirement. Whereas I was eligible to retire with full benefits at age 55 with 25 years of service, her retirement is totally up to her. As a physician, her plan is one she has to create for herself. She can't really contemplate retirement until age 65. This makes my current situation rather enviable from her point of view.

We spent a productive hour working on the JC Bach Adagio for piano and double bass. It seemed appropriate that it was in a minor key. It was never more beautiful than yesterday. As I played I recognized that retirement will give me an opportunity to play more and more music with Deborah and with others.

For people with no life outside the office, retirement is like a death sentence, the beginning of the end. For me, however, it can be a reaffirming life sentence, the beginning of a new era in my life that is overflowing with exciting things to do.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to get a transfusion of new blood that will revitalize my heavy heart, that will replace the solid metal with something that affirms the meaning of the rest of my life.



10 Comments:

Blogger media concepts said...

How about an age discrimination lawsuit?

3:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MediaConcepts -- Do explain. I don't get it! (Maybe because of my age :))

4:43 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Don't begrudge your heart its moments of sadness. You are saying goodbye to a large part of your life, after all. Every ending has a new beginning implicit in it. When you are through with the sorrow, close that door and look with excitement through the next open one.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Aileen said...

I agree with media concepts- you may have a case...

Anyway, I'm so sorry that it's ended in this way, and I'm sure what you are feeling right now is part of the normal grieving process.

Good luck with the farewell party! I think it will be phenomenal! :)

8:31 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Everyone I know who has retired, loves their new situation. I'm sure it won't take long and you'll be saying, "Why in the h___ did I stick around as long as I did." Welcome in advance to the club.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- I'm sure I will get to that new place soon, but I'm not quite there yet.

MediaConcepts, Aileen -- I need to understand this idea of an age discrimination lawsuit. Most of the players in this saga are within a few years of my age one way of the other. They are not asking me to retire. They simply aren't allowing me the latitude I need to do my job correctly. So where does age figure into this? Maybe I'm missing something here.

David -- I suppose we will need to renegotiate cooking responsibilities when we are BOTH home. Oh well, your cooking during the work week was good while it lasted. That could well be the only thing I will miss about not working!

9:40 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

There is no question that we all like to feel wanted, to feel we belong and are a part of something. My experience with work is that a worker is simply a replaceable commodity - no one is irreplaceable.

However, knowledge of that does make the silence any more bearable. I remember when I left my last job, I was very fed up with my manager, I was the most senior member on the team - the only one who had been with the project since its inception and one of the chief architects and responsible fo rthe lions share of the code. There was not even a feinted attempt at enticing me to reconsider.

I agree with David, in a few months time you will likely be saying, "Why didn't I do this earlier?"

Now, if only I could get my gumption up and strike out on m own ...

I have to say that I hate it when things are decided in hushed whispers behind closed doors and then pushed through as though it was an unfortunate set of circumstances. I have seen this sort of back room politicking far too often in far too many organizations.

Consider yourself very blessed to be freed of this taskmaster and free to serve according to your whim.

10:00 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Hate to sound flip, but its what I do best...
Nothin' wrong with you Honey that a bottle oF Dom Perignon and a few turns on the Dance Floor won't fix!

9:12 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Well, it sounds like the whole saga is slowly drawing to a close and your decision is clear to you. If you stayed, you might not be full of the enthusiasm you once were and your heart may not be fuly engaged in it ever again. Your husband sounds like he is encouraging you to join him! How great is that?!! Have pride in your career accomplishments, have a great party and celebrate the opening of a new chapter of your life!

10:56 AM  
Blogger Aileen said...

If you feel that you were treated unfairly, you should consult an employment lawyer.

Or let it go, if that's what you want to do.

Either way, take good care of yourself.

8:38 PM  

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