Let me preface this by saying that my former coworkers at Barnes & Noble are probably going to take issue with this. So, I apologize in advance. But, this is just something I’ve come to realize over the last several weeks/months.
Something that’s struck me hardest since my departure from work last January is the growing importance of relationships in my life. I’ve been fortunate to reconnect in a huge way with my family, especially my young, easily impressionable, increasingly independent, ten-year-old son. I’ve begun to develop friendships and relations within my small group; one we’ve been attending for, sheesh has it been six months now??
Relationships. Love. Acts 2. It’s all become a huge influence to me; on me.
Then, I think back over the time I spent with my last employer, the last ten years of my life . . .
What do I have to show for it?
Well . . . we’re living off some semblance of savings that I’d been able to accrue. And, the wage was nice. The health insurance was helpful, while we had it. Roof over our heads, and all that. But what about relationships?
I can recall a lot of good conversations, plus a few “deep” ones; most all related, in some aspect, to work. I remember meeting a few friends after hours for a beer or two. But what did we most often talk about? Work.
I remember having a few coworkers look at me strangely if I asked them about “personal” stuff, like spouses or kids, or family illnesses, like, “Why do you want to know that?” But, I also remember having some good conversations with coworkers who were relieved to talk to someone about those things. Still . . .
When was the last time I spoke with any of them?
. . . that speaks volumes to me.
It’s not them, I’m sure of it, it’s me. I spent so much time “working” with them all, I never felt I had time to “know” any of them . . . I was too busy working with them.
If anything, this time I’ve spent away from “work” has shown me the importance of relationship. The importance of prioritizing relationship. The importance of time in developing relationship. There’s nothing more important!
When it comes down to it, that’s all we’ll ever take away from all of this: Be it stepping away from your job, driving away from your hometown, or slipping into the eternal abyss . . . the only thing that lasts is going to be those relationships you’ve taken the time and priority to build. Trust me, my savings ain’t lasting worth beans! I have no wage (blogging apparently doesn’t pay what it should!). I have no insurance! And, in answer to my above question, it’s been three months since I’ve spoken to anyone from work.
Where did ten years go?
More importantly, what am I gonna do with the next ten years?
What about you?
Next time you go to work, take a look around. What are you going to take with you when you leave (besides the stapler and an orphaned coffee mug) . . . and you will leave at some point.
Take a look at the “friends” you have . . . same question.
Now, take a look at your family . . .