Saturday, April 01, 2017

Reclaiming My Life in a Month

Back in September, I wrote a post titled "Crossroads: A Work Dilemma," which dealt with a decision that was coming up for me at work. I gave some information about my situation and solicited feedback and suggestions from my readers and friends. I was given much great advice and many suggestions, for which I am grateful. However, the process associated with the change moved ever so slowly. Things became a little more clear toward the end of last month. Although I had a plan that made all the sense in the world, it was not readily accepted.

About a month ago, I emailed my boss and informed him of my intention of stepping down as head of my department at the end of April. It was a bittersweet moment, as there were many successes during the past five years. But, in truth, I was often haunted by the scourge of authority positions: personnel management. The highlight was probably having to talk with a female employee about her odor. Heady times indeed!

Before I took on the management position five years ago, I was having rocking poker weekends, traveling to Harrah's Horseshoe in Hammond, Indiana almost every other weekend. Poker jaunts to Las Vegas throughout the year were common. I hosted some poker games at my house and had a great international home poker game to go to once or twice a week. I was six months past a mild heart attack and had lost a bunch of weight. Energy was high and life was great.

Things changed after I took the management position. Extra hours and stress weighed upon me, and fatigue became part of my regular life. I eventually cut back on my poker trips and settled into a new existence.

After one year I actively ran for election to complete the final two years of the director term. I got the extra two years, and then, fearing cutbacks and tough decisions that might have to be made, I ran for a final three-year term, wanting to be the person at the helm if things got really bad. After the first year, I began longing for my old life and probably sounded pretty whiny to some of my fellow directors. Unfortunately, my personal life took some huge hits beginning with last May: my wife lost her job, my mother passed away and my mother-in-law also passed. These things really got me thinking.

In the end, I really didn't want to continue as a director unless I got certain things that, in my mind, brought the negative side of the job up to a level I could accept. When I didn't get them, it was clearly a sign that it was time for me to go.

I have one more month left as director, then basically either two or three more years of work until I retire. I haven't set the date yet.

Although I feel conflicted, I am looking forward to only having to be responsible for myself at work for the first time in five years. I have almost forgotten what it is like to not check work email the first thing after I get up in the morning ... to not have to be accessible on a moment's notice ... to not be the one contacting police, students, sometimes parents, trying to keep someone from killing him/herself ... to not have to sit through boring meeting after meeting after meeting ...

I've got a pretty good feeling that things will feel pretty good a months from now.



Blogger Koala said...

Ar some point in time your family and your own health become the most important things for you to take care of. You don't need the stress. Hope this means we might catch up in Las Vegas in July.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you selected the option that will give you more free time. Enjoy it!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

Sounds good to me.

11:03 AM  
Blogger thundering36 said...

So now that you will have plenty of time to visit Vegas again and I'm getting all kinds of offers for comped rooms, I'll be moving in a few weeks. Sad!

11:17 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

This path should work out great for you!

11:22 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@Koala -- Oh yes - I am definitely on for Las Vegas the week of July 17. Getting a good hotel deal has been an issue, however.

@thundering36 -- Yes, if only I were getting the offers that you get. CET has certainly tightened up on me. However, things have a way of working out.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Alysia Chang said...

The sheer number of hotels without armed folks shooting up members of the public have definitely declined. So NO WSOP events for you? The seniors event calls!

11:36 AM  
Blogger thundering36 said...

I would give you my Total Rewards Platinum card and also my Illinois picture ID card since I won't be needing it any more, but you look too old to pass for me. Ask Josie. :)

11:41 AM  
Blogger Lester said...

I swore off any type of mgt position in the early 90s after having made the decision to not take any action to protect my job and let the chips at that time fall as they may. I have zero regrets about not having to ever write performance reviews and decide raise percentages ever again. Kudos to you to for returning to the fold of the worker bee!!!!

8:58 AM  

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