Thankful for where I am in life at this time. Yes, for the wrinkles, the scars, the aches and pains. They all tell a story and are a reminder of how I came to be in this place.
Over the years I have worked for eleven different organizations, doing a variety of careers; ceramics, stock clerk, mapping, administrative manager, human resources, purchasing, facility management, painting and custom woodwork, employment counselling, training and organizational development, and consulting. Three of these were my own businesses.
I was very lucky to be raised by parents who never told me I was not able to do something, they always encouraged me with, “Try it, if it doesn’t work, you’ve learned something.” Obviously, this did not apply to behavioural issues!
My first job was when I was twelve, pouring moulds for a ceramics studio. I made the ‘slip’ in an old Beatty washing machine and prepared the greenware for the classes until I was eighteen. Some of the greenware was delicate and timing was crucial when pouring them but I was allowed to figure it out on my own and develop my own routines.
My opportunity to learn cartographic draughting through the provincial government was my dream through high school and the mentoring from those I worked with made the learning easy and rewarding.
My time with Forest Surveys for the government in Victoria made the transition to MacMillan Bloedel in Vancouver and later their Nanaimo office, and back home, a natural fit. Looking back in my varied career with MacMillan Bloedel, I was given a great amount of freedom to develop new skills and create a path for myself. During this time I met and married my wife and raised our family with the usual challenges of the economy, job loss, and financial struggles but stuck it out.
The skills my father taught me helped provide for my family during the economic challenges of the early 1980’s. Although a desperate time in many ways, what I learned about myself was very valuable.
After the demise of MacMillan Bloedel, I fell into doing Employment Counselling, initially working with people with multiple barriers to employment. I loved the industry and stayed in it for nearly 12 years before semi-retiring. After retiring, I was given the opportunity to continue working a few days a month, this time with entrepreneurs.
Yes, I did have some bosses I worked for that I did not enjoy but those bosses I worked with, rather than for, taught me leadership. I feel I have learned from all of them, even if it was what not to do when dealing with employees.
Gratitude may just be simply looking at your life from a positive perspective, and I have had a lot of positive influence in my life! I am very thankful for where I am, wrinkles and all!
“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
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