“Keep the End in Mind”

Some days, I have such an urgency to find my way out of the rat race, and I often feel like a young child ready to grow up because of the inconveniences of being young. I have been on the search of finding a way to counter these feelings and may have just found the key I needed to accomplish just that.

I think that I mentioned before that my blood pressure has gone up 10 points since I acquired this position. I’m in such a hurry to get things done at work and to unnecessarily prove myself to myself. The consequence is that I am stressing myself out. I have to keep reminding myself that it is just groceries. That’s it. This is not life or death. We’re just trying to get groceries on the shelf for customers to buy. In America, we live in excess anyway, so again, why am I so stressed out about this all? I must find a way to stop.

Three months ago, I started therapy about my job. I have needed therapy at various times in my life to discuss relationship issues and codependency. I never imagined I would need it for my job, but it was definitely necessary and I am benefiting from it. So far, I have homework to work through things and it is helping somewhat:

  • Reading an article on relaxing techniques and applying them
  • Counting positives related to work daily
  • Reading an article about unprecedented guilt
  • Removing items from my plate that are unnecessary
  • Doodling in between tasks (which has actually turned into doing pencil drawings at night)
  • Listing things that can be moved from “guilt of obligation” to “freedom of choice”

My latest session, we talked about how I tend to string codependence and perfectionism in my day-to-day behaviors. I have done what I advise people not to do and that is “pile” everything. I worry about minor things, about major things, and I expect myself to get them all accomplished and beat myself up for not getting them done. Minor things are as simple as housework and major things are being there for friends that are facing major life crises. So my therapist suggested that I list out all things that I feel that I have guilt of obligation to see where I can apply freedom of choice. And some of these feelings are applicable to work just the same as other things in my life. While discussing my appointment lessons with my husband, I realized that some coined phrases I have learned in my career are applicable as well. And just like that, my anxiety has started to be at bay.

One coined phrase was from the former Vice President of my department who used to remind us to “Always keep the end in mind.” Thinking outside of work, the end goal for Josh and me is to retire no later than 55 years old. We are speaking it into existence on a daily basis, and it is more and more real to me. We are discussing that goal with many people and talking to financial advisors about it. Personally, I used to over-pressure myself on getting it all done and done correctly. So the lesson that I am learning is to not over-pressure myself to get it done perfectly and to realize that we are making progress regardless. Josh has helped me understand that my career is how we are going to get there, and that is resulting in me steadily easing the urgency to leave the workforce.This is good, because I was starting to feel like I was suffocating in the job and that I needed to “Get out as soon as possible!” So, now that I’m not abandoning my job and running for the beach, I am feeling more relaxed and ready to tackle everything at a reasonable pace. EUREKA!

One other eureka moment that I’ve been having lately is the memory of the words of the former Executive Vice President of Metropolitan Banking for U.S. Bancorp, Kathy Beechman, who retired to take care of her terminally ill husband. I had the pleasure to hear her speak at a Women’s Edge event at Kroger; she talked about choices for women, but her words did not just apply to women and have been resounding in my head over and over lately. She said that when you are faced with the choice of 2 different opportunities in your career, always go the direction that has the most future opportunities. It is such a profound statement and has become a foundation of my advice to mentees and career-oriented friends. Kathy had a lot more advice to give to women regarding the choices we face in the work force and she spent a lot of time telling her story about retiring to take care of her terminally ill husband, which put things more into perspective than anything else. Her story is inspirational and indicative of a woman that is very strong on the inside and out. I consider her a role model and will continue to do my best to apply those teachings in my day-to-day life.

These two EUREKA moments are how I am going to focus on my career going forward: “Keep the end in mind” with retirement and go the direction with the most future opportunities. 

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