Who do you think you are?

#ShePersisted Series No 49
Mixed Media
11 x 14″
2019 Louise Gallagher

Yesterday, as I was cleaning out some files in preparation for my transition from the office to rejuvenation spaces, I found my Performance Review from February 2018.

When I had first joined the organization it was with the intent of staying for one year to help establish their communications and government relations strategy. One year would have been May 2018. When I did my Performance Review, the one year mark was approaching and the ED at the time had asked me to consider staying a bit longer in order to support him in achieving a couple of critical strategic directions. I was enjoying the work, the people and the challenges and agreed. In my Performance Review under “Goals”, I wrote that my goal was to create a succession plan that would allow me to transition from workplace to retirement by…. (wait for it)…. end of May 2019.

Ha!

I was prescient without even realizing it. I’m fulfilling on a goal I’d given a specific date to, and forgotten!

Don’t you love serendipity?

On May 31 I shall be transitioning out of my daytime job to step into the as of yet undefined spaces of retirement/rejuvenation. In March, when the Board announced the selection of the new Executive Director who is taking on the role on April 15, I met with her to discuss my transition. We agreed that six weeks would be ample time for me to transfer any needed knowledge and to assist her with a couple of specific tasks. At the time, I truly hadn’t remembered the goal from my Performance Review. At the time, we set the date as May 31.

I felt light-headed when I saw my note in my Performance Review. I felt calm and filled with a sense of satisfaction and peace.

Yesterday, after I’d spent an hour and a half meeting with the incoming ED, I left feeling uplifted, inspired, free. The agency will be in great hands.

As I move towards April 15 and then May 31, I am beginning the process of releasing my sense of ‘belonging’ to the organization. With each day, as I clear out old files and create a folder for the new ED of issues/ideas/projects in process that need her attention, I am also working on my release of needing/wanting to be engaged in everything.

It is an expansive place this releasing of my sense of belonging. And while I shall always feel a deep admiration and respect for the amazing people who work there and the incredible work they do and the vitalness of that work to our communities and the families served, I shall be pulling away from ‘the work’ itself to create space for my own work to evolve.

Last night, as I sat down at the work table in my studio and began to create, the #ShePersisted Series muse awoke and invited me to explore my creative essence through her voice.

As I splashed paint and moved through that grungy space of ‘Ugh. Nothing is looking right,” which is an inevitable part of my creative process, I was reminded of how when I first started at the agency almost two years ago, I knew little about its inner workings and needs and the imperatives of ending child and family homelessness.  There have been moments over the past two years when I wondered if I was ‘doing it right’, getting it?’.

Those wonderings are integral parts of every creative endeavour, of everything I do. They keep me open to change. Keep me listening for inner truth, other’s truths and connected to possibility in every truth. As I move beyond ‘the workforce’ to being a force of my creative change, I carry with me all I’ve learned, experienced, heard and seen. I carry with me the incredible passion of so many people to create better in the world for those whose voices have been stifled and those whose dreams have been lost beneath the struggles of poverty and homelessness.

I carry with me my own inate desire to create better in the world so that everyone, no matter their status, colour of skin, faith or riches can experience the wonder and awe of being who they are, exactly as they are right now.

No 49 in the #ShePersisted Series came into being last night. I’m excited to explore the more of what can happen when I let go of ‘9 to 5’and step into the uncharted spaces of rejuventation where I am wild and free. I am woman. I am me. . .

Namaste

6 thoughts on “Who do you think you are?”

  1. LG,

    Not being a proponent of retirement in the sense which governments and financial institutions have regimented our society, I can whole-heartedly support you trading ‘9-5 M-F’ for ’24/7′ …

    Isn’t about work/life balance either.

    Harmony comes when our activities and purpose are aligned, when our bain/body balance has us energized and creative – charting the course we want when we want for the reasons we want – and when we do that the daily choices we make about things both mundane and critical come from a place of being completely grounded in who we are and what we are

    You are Louise – not defined by your writing, your art or your heart, not by your advocacy for yourself or for others – but by all those things, 24/7 …

    May 31st is not a milestone and shouldn’t be a mill-stone either. It’s just a date.

    Do what you want when you want – change your mind when you want for whatever reason you want – apologize for nothing and let yourself shine. You’ve done much. Many people would be really happy to have a whole life just made of what you’ve accomplished, but we both know you’ve barely begun …

    By that I mean, now that you know all you know and you’ve had all the experiences you’ve had – imagine the things you can do – just imagine, and because you are alive and well you should do those things you would like to do.

    An old axiom – I don’t know who said it first – is this, “If you could do anything you want without fear of failing, what would it be?” …. and when you’ve answered that, do that next … please. There is only one Louise Gallagher available to live Louise Gallagher’s life. What you’ve done and the person we’ve known up until now is a wonderful. You could stop and rest on your accomplishments.

    Or, you could do what’s next for you to do.

    Time to saddle up, strap in and let it fly/flow, don’t you think?

    Cheers and happy non-retirement,

    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Louise, my dear friend, your friend Mark has written so eloquently, succinctly using The most profund arguments as to why you will be embracing post-May 31 wholeheartedly. You shall:
    – look forward
    – savour each morning that you awake
    – take that cup of java to the lawn and gaze out upon the river
    – reflect upon what you would like to do that day
    – decide if you wish to paint, read, write or simply veg
    – wake up most morning as if you are going to the office.
    – enjoy that ah-ha moment when you realize you can stay put
    Then and only then will that wonderful feeling of “I can do anything I want today” come over you, snuggle you in its arms, et voila, you have experienced a moment of rejuvenation.
    I do caution that this may take a period of time for initially you will feel like you are on a very long holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Leigh. I am svouring each moment. Every day, I repeat to myself, I release my attachment to “the work” and open myself up to expansion.

      I have learned much from your journey of release and activation. Thank you for sharing your brilliance so genersouly! ❤

      Like

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