WPC: Victory

Victory. What does this word make you think of? Most certainly sports, maybe you have stopped smoking or drinking, Maybe you survived a dreadful accident or conquered cancer.

My Victory might seem a small one, but to me, very significant. I belong to those middle aged people who were raised always to do their duty, to work until your task is finished, to stand up for what is right and seldom (never) complain.

Many things change during a lifetime. And that’s life, of course. Today, my parents are getting old, friends are getting incurable diseases –  even die. Dear colleagues are leaving due to the work situation and because of retirement. Students are changing – the world is changing.

I am not there yet – not even on the threshold of retirement. But. Many personal things during the last two years have taken its toll. I felt tired and without enthusiasm this spring. Should I really work until the bitter end? No time for my ageing parents? No time for family, friends or myself? Nobody knows their time span – I might get run over by a bus tomorrow…

This thinking began to envelop me, and I checked my financial status as well as consulting my school on the possibility of taking a year off. And I did it. Despite my love for my students, my love for my colleagues and for my work. A hard decision to make, but when I finally had decided, everything felt as it should. Really good. Like a jigsaw puzzle coming together, displaying its flawless pattern. I can compare this to when I decided to stay at home with my children for five years when they were small. I felt I must not die having made too many wrong decisions, I must do as much as I can for my family. And this time also for myself. I needed to find that ”real self” I used to be satisfied with: Nonstressed, calm, energetic and creative. Listening and caretaking. The person I once was.

 

57 comments on “WPC: Victory

  1. I think you have been super brave!!! We have only a life…And sometimes, many many times, we do not do what we really need to do…
    BTW: I have the same watering pot you have, but in pink…From Ikea!!🙂🙂 Have a nice weekend and enjoy every second!

  2. Bravo, Ann-Christine! It is so wonderful that you reflected on what you needed to do and you did it! I hope your sabbatical is rejeuvenating and brings some of your dreams to fruition.

  3. Goosebumps! You, my friend, are inspiring. You took that step when you felt it was needed, though a million things told you not to do it, but you went ahead anyway.

    Balance, peace and freedom, those are the things I hope you’ll find in this year.

    • Marion – thank you for your support! I hope to find at least one of those…it takes some time to recover myself. But I’m trying. A great thing is that I’m getting some more of my hair back…it was getting thinner and thinner from stress.

  4. So, it was not easy to make your ‘time-out’ decision, for an active person like you, but…..reading between the lines, you obviously are sure now, that it was the only and right decision to make, in order for you to find peace of mind and body. Use your time to the fullest, do whatever you wanted to do in the past but never had the time, try not to push things out until tomorrow….As you already know, time fly’s so very fast. I wish you good health and happiness, Ann-Christine.

    • You are very kind…and I thank you greatly for this. Your reading between the lines is accurate – this is it.
      I wish you all the best and happiness too.

  5. Leya-
    Ahh… this may well be the most significant victory of all. To realize what you value in life and to have the courage to make the change… and not just think about it. That is a key to having no regrets, and to leading a fulfilling, connected life. I, too, am one who stopped working at an earlier rather than later age. I hate the term … retired. Rather, I re-inspired. I love re-inspirement. Best wishes to you,
    ~Jane

    • Jane, thank you and congratulations! I will be a word thief here…”re-inspired” – what a wonderful description! Now I will use this concept myself!

  6. Congrats on a tough decision! I retired ”early” at age 55 last December from public service after 35 years. The 8 months I had off from work. To retire I knew I would go back to university teaching which I dearly love! Very little stress! You made the right decision!

    • Thank you, Terri! In fact I’m thinking of having some web based thing for students, when I have recovered…I’m glad you enjoy your decisions!

  7. It is a mental, soulful and physical victory Ann-Chrstine. I’m thrilled that you took this time off year,a way to put everything in to perspective.

    • Oh, it went off…I meant you’re saying just the right thing – yes, I hope it really will. I would have regretted not taking this chance! For me, it is a victory over myself, my upbringing and everything I have followed through my grown-up life and work.

      • It so mirrors me Ann-Christine and was a long, but deliberate decision. One that has worked out better than I could have imagined. So my best to you for this wonderful year.

  8. I relate to this very very much. I just turned 70, and I loved my teaching job so much I thought I would work until that age. But at 65, my daughter had a baby, and my mother turned 92, and I started forgetting the names of my students. It was time to let go. Now what is really important in life? My daughter now has three children and I have be able to go on trips with them, I go to her house every Friday, and sometimes it is hard, but usually delightful. Then I have the time to take my mother out of the prison of her home (her words, and true, if you used to be active, and now disability keeps you with a caregiver) for rides in the beautiful city of San Francisco. Still at 98, she is enthusiastic and loves it. I have had to give up plans to travel in my retirement, but human relations are so much more important at this phase of my life.

  9. What a great post, and the symbolism in the photo is terrific! I thought long and hard about this subject. I’ve won many victories along the lines you wrote, but couldn’t come up with a photo. For a while I was thinking of just writing about it, but it would have gotten _way_ too personal. I mean … there are limits to everything LOL. The fact that I broke up and moved abroad wasn’t a victory because I wasn’t scared. ‘A leap of faith’; yes … Now your post here has inspired me, so I’ll think a little bit more🙂

    You did good, but did you notice how quickly that one year went by?!

    • Oh, only half of it is gone…I started this autumn and there’s spring and summer as well. But fast it is going! I’m looking forward to read yours – it’s a bit tricky not to be too personal. I hope I succeeded…

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