Yep. It happened. No rain for weeks so I did what I had to do to guarantee rain by Tuesday – I got the car washed at the weekend. It never fails.
I needed rain because my weed patch, formerly my mint patch, needed pulling. And digging. And hoeing. And replanting. With rhubarb. And more mint. To get a head start on the mozzies, I was up and at it before 7 am. Who’d have thought 20 years ago that this would be what I’d be doing now.
Twenty years ago, I had taken an 80% pay cut to return to Ireland in the aftermath of 9/11. It was time for me to go home for a while. I never had the desire to climb the corporate ladder. I’m not fond of heights. Or heels. My time in management was spent railing against those above me and trying to motivate and inspire those below me. They didn’t have to like me. I didn’t have to like them. It was about getting the job done while making sure that they learned, grew, and moved on.
I had a message recently that made me smile:
Someone asked me which boss I’d learnt the most from, and I found myself thinking “It can’t STILL be the woman who led a student project I did for a couple of months in 2005!”
It’s not rocket science. Isn’t that the job of a boss – to give people room to grow and the knowledge and support they need to make the most of that space?
In all the years I was working in the corporate world, the number of really good managers I had, I could count on one hand. And I had a lot of bosses. In fairness, I’m sure I wasn’t the easiest person to manage. But still. They were managers. They were supposed to know better.
One day, I sat myself down and asked myself why. Why bother? It seemed like I was banging my head against a brick wall. So, I stepped off the wheel and decided to be my own boss.
How’s that working for you, Mary?
No paid sick leave. No paid holidays. No paid lunches. The workflow is intermittent. The pay is inconsistent. But I can, at any time, down tools in the office and go dig up my weed patch. Without. Asking. Anyone. For. Permission.
It’s working out great! I’m so grateful.