Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grandma and Doing What You Have to Do

                I’ve mentioned my grandmother here once or twice.  She came to this country from Ireland in 1928, just in time for the Great Depression. In Athlone and Galway, she was a certified teacher. When she came here, she was told she couldn’t teach in America. This was the age when companies still had signs up that said Irish need not apply. She was told that she talked funny (and this in New Jersey), or that she was only going to get married and pregnant so why bother taking her on. So, as she told me, she did what she had to do.  That involved scrubbing floors and other “menial” tasks. She did marry and had four sons (a small family by standards then). Unfortunately, she married the stereotypical Irishman for that day, he was an alcoholic who liked to drink away his check.

                But she always did what she had to do to survive and hopefully thrive. 

                I wonder if we haven’t lost the ability to do what we have to do. We have become a people of doing what we want when we want. Is this some of the appeal of social media? I am just as guilty of getting sucked into the instant gratification and neglected my writing. 

                But sometimes circumstances remind us to do what we have to do no matter how uncomfortable.

                I recently resigned from the bank where I had worked for the last six years. I had started when it was called something else. It was a good place to work by and large. We put the customer first and believed that doing the right thing would drive results and profitability.  We treated employees like assets not expenses.  The place I use to work is in the terminal stages of a merger with another large bank creating a national behemoth. It was a process three years in the making.

                Those who know me know that I am not adverse to change. When the changes started coming, there was concern over the direction we were headed. But I counseled patience. Things would get better when the dust settled.  As time passed and changes continued, I counseled patience saying things had to get better.  After years of dealing with people who made a mockery of management and a farce of the term leadership, it had taken a toll on my physical and mental health and my family. So after trying patience and weighing the pros, cons and consequences, and without any immediate prospects I severed my relationship with that bank.

                This was not an easy decision to make as it puts a strain on personal finances in the near term. But in the long run, it has given me control back of my future, allowed me to begin healing my psyche from the almost daily trials. It has given me hope.

                And my muse is back. I had been too exhausted to hear her.  While I search for my next source of immediate cash, doors open for me. I am speaking at a Women in Business breakfast next month. I am putting a long term business plan together for my writing ventures and meeting some wonderful writers and entrepreneurs along the way. I am finding self-discipline and I am rediscovering my passions.  Which is a good thing, as I intend to try my hand at erotica for NaNoWriMo. But more on that in a later post.

                And in many ways I have my grandmother to thank for this.

                Have you made big changes in your life? Share your story with us.