Reflections on 41+ Years of Federal Service

Who would have thought that after 41-plus years inside an institutional workforce, I would mature into an aspiring landowner picking freshly grown basil from my outside homestead to flavor my homemade pizza? Transitioning from city to rural farmland, I sashay around in my outside garden with a hand-held wooden basket picking fresh herbs to add to everyday meals. Like the French women in their small-town villages picking herbs for that evening’s meals, I love to imitate the idea of their calming and peaceful lifestyles. Not a care in the world except what is being prepared for family dinner that night.

For a long time, I have moved in two totally different worlds, focusing on my livelihood during the day and juggling apples and oranges in the evenings and on the weekends. Over the years, I was being propelled into a better life for me, my family and that small group of special folks I refer to as “my network.” This network is a collection of mothers that grew into a sista-hood after we all determined that we were in the institution for the long haul. We made certain that every family in the network had what it needed to be sustained.

Looking back to when I began my federal career more than four decades ago, I find that I want to inspire others to follow their gut feelings and dream! Take the plunge and step out on faith.

Five or so years ago, knowing I was moving toward the finish line of my career, I began shifting my thinking, restructuring my career goals for the short term and focusing more on my Second Act. I searched high and low for the lowliest branding that I could generate – for words that tell the story of my changed self that would not take an on-looker long to decipher.

My intention with establishing a new brand for my after-work life resonates with my personal aim to remain authentic and true to life. I did not want to be anything but natural. I probed deep and in the weeds for my inner being. I decided to eliminate brick and mortar and buy into “pop-up.” I wanted a mobile lifestyle that penetrated my creative lobe. I wanted society to see what other talents I yielded from 41+ years. Pretentiousness cannot be tolerated. I did not remain true to life for 41-plus years only to miss out on mobilizing in my Second Act.

In sum, here are some true-to-life take-ways from my experience that might work for you:

  • Pay your tithes and count your blessings!
  • Bet on yourself.
  • Keep your goals and objectives reachable.
  • Monitor your progress.
  • Keep unneeded noise out of your ear.
  • Establish two revenue streams.
  • Embrace “learned” knowledges.

Signing off with much heartfelt appreciation and gratitude!

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