Stephanie Jeffery Carlino – Never Give up on Anything!

Ok, so I’m 66 years old and wondering where my life went and how I ended up in a dead end job. Looking back on my career, I peaked early and it’s been downhill ever since. But, I am more fortunate than those who can’t find jobs, so there is that “make lemonade out of lemons” thought process (side note: does anyone care that I can’t stand lemonade? Lemons are actually better, you can put them in water, you can squeeze them on food – lemonade provides only one option, drinking it. Ponder that for a few minutes).

As I’m locked in my mundane job it should come as no surprise that to keep my sanity, I daydream.

I daydream about the past—clothes that no longer fit, shoes that are out of style, and my non-existent social life. (Now that I see it in writing, it’s more like a nightmare than a daydream.) But I still push on.

One person keeps circling in my thoughts…the one that got away. Well, not exactly, but sort of. He relocated to another state to open his own business. More power to him, and I was supportive as I wanted the best for him. We each kept plodding along, he growing his business and me just plugging along. Every so many years, for whatever reason, we communicated. Not sure why or how, but we did.

He called with exciting news—he bought a condo on Marco Island…yeah him (seriously?) and bought a Corvette (mid-life crisis or just an ass and I never saw it before) I started to dread his calls and eventually stopped responding. That didn’t last long, and once again we were back in touch.

I learned something about myself on this job—at the beginning, it was horrific. People were hired and fired with such regularity that at first I wrote down their names on a list, and then I eventually switched to stick figures. The office was chaos—screaming, yelling and sometimes you were ducking for fear of being hit on the head by flying objects. This was a feeding ground for insanity. But I needed the job so once I accepted the fact that I couldn’t change the job, I changed my view of the job. I no longer looked at it as a career, but rather as a  place to wait out the years till retirement. I told myself I had the big jobs, big salaries, and staff. And with that came responsibility. I could leave here at 5:15 and if the place burned down to the ground, so be it. No one was calling me to put the fire out. That subtle change in my behavior made all the difference.

Fast forward to 4 years later and we are happily “committed to the commitment” (that’s what people say when they are staying together without getting married), and he is retired and I am still in my dead-end job until the end of the year. Then I’m going to retire and we are going to do what we should have done 30 years ago—enjoy life, together.

Moral of the story—never give up on anything as Nietzsche said: “the formula for happiness is a goal and a straight line.” Well, I eventually got it right; don’t give up and you will, too.

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