Early retirement has been my goal (and my dream) for a very long time now.
I was “welcomed to the machine” as pink floyd say when I was 20, (during my university years) -that is if you don’t count temp jobs as a teenager.
That is a frightening number -30 years of labor.
*Working from home/being supported by someone wasn’t really an option . as to working from home-I know it’s hard to imagine but internet wasn’t spreading until around 2000, and I was deep into my current job then. as to being supported my first year at uni I did get a little help from my mother but as soon as I found a job that can cover my small expenses as a student- I was on my own.
But why hide behind mark Zuckerberg ? the whole truth and nothing but it -is that deep down I seem to need stability.
That need for a secure and safe every month led me to the secure and safe and stable job I’ve been doing for so many years.
Although I am an introvert, through the years I managed to “step up the ladder” so to speak, and now I am in a position of a (mini) decision maker- middle management -I have bosses over me- but I am also a mini boss- for about 9-10 people at my office.
This made me feel I was a “somebody” at my work place.
The truth is, I was no more a “somebody” than anybody else, but the title and having people consult with you and follow your orders can be an intoxicating feeling for people with less confidence like me.
When retiring from a management job, a person has , in my opinion , to manage the interesting issue of handling his/her ego.
I believe that everyone has an ego- the only question is how big it is, and how much does this ego lead his/her decision-making.
I know for certain that my ego has led me many times to making decisions I now regret making, and I’m also sure that I keep being handled by my ego: consciously or sub-consciously.
Being in a management job has many advantages- as well as many dis-advantages to it.
The money is higher, but the responsibility takes a real toll on your well-being, you need to be able to answer both the people you are in charge of and your superiors, you need to be able to handle situations with poise and calm even when you feel you are about to lose it , and sometimes you really want to help your employee but simply can’t, and it makes you feel powerless and cruel.
And then there is that ego issue.
Being in management gives your ego the illusion of power.
I know for a fact that my ego was really fond of this feeling.
Now that I applied for early retirement I began thinking how my life after retiring would look like, and I began wondering if my ego will be able to take the downsizing imposed on it .
I know that when people worry/think about retirement , they think of filling their days with activities and not sinking into boredom, but now that I think seriously about the situation, losing the “power” you have -is not an easy situation for people who are used to having it. let alone the ones that actually enjoy having it.
I have spent many hours contemplating this issue and challenging my ego- consciously of course- to try to deal with the situation ahead.
I f you wish- since I described this position of mine at work as “stepping up yhe ladder”- well now I am stepping cautiously off the ladder- step by step- instead of falling off it suddenly on retirement day.
One of the steps I took -deliberately now- 4 months before my retirement , is to delegate many of my authorities to my deputy .
The thing is, that being a control freak, that is not really working well.
I find it really hard to let go, and now I have a “legitimate” excuse for it besides my puffed up ego- I need to make sure everything is done right .
So I am working hard on my tendency to delegate but interfere.
Another step I took to deal with my ego is to stop wearing make up.
What does that have to do with the subject?
Well I found out that for me- wearing make up was a good armour in the face of challenges.
I told you already that I am an introvert and socializing with people isn’t my strong side to say the least of it.
I managed to survive through all of those long years because of the “mask” I put on myself every morning: the make up mask.
When “under -cover” I could handle dealing with people much easier, I could “face the world” at more ease, and I can find more funny double meanings but I believe you get the drift.
my previous post dealt with that decision with length.
Since my 50th birthday, I stopped wearing any kind of make up, “cold-turkey”, and I’ve found other ways to hold on through the day-which I shall share next time.
enjoy- the cooliflower.