This is a photo of Pen y Fan and Corn Du in the Brecon Beacons. Admittedly it is too early for snow. I hope! This was last November. Actually, it was 3rd November, last year, which means it’s only eleven days away. So it’s not too early for snow, really.
Followers of this blog will be aware that last year I reached my goal of walking up there. And I did it, not once, but twice. The second time was with my wife. We arrived at the summit as the other walkers were leaving, which meant that we had about ten minutes on our own in the stillness of the mountain, admiring the view and admiring our achievement. It was quite an emotional moment, sharing that success together.
Our goal for this year was to reach the summit, again. We are not getting younger. Suffice it to say that we have grandchildren, so such a hike is an achievement at our age. At 886 metres, it’s not that high a peak by many standards, but having suffered from a serious illness, it has become a symbol of my recovery. As regular readers will know, I failed to reach the summit, this year, because my wife was taken ill part-way up.
That does not mean we have given up. I will get there, again. Mountains are like any other part of life. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you cannot do it any more.
But although this may not be Everest, or Mont Blanc, it is the highest peak in South Wales, and for many walkers and hikers in the area it represents a sort of right of passage; a goal, if only for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the view.
It also gives a sense of fulfilment that follows through into other areas of life.
Dealing with the Unexpected
So my boss called me into his office, today, and started the conversation with, “This isn’t going to be easy.”
Strangely, I knew what he was about to say next. After all, I had been expecting it for some time. He has decided that he is going to merge our practice with another. There are benefits, of course. The other practice will be bringing new clients on board. But then came the blow which was rather painful, even if I had been mindful of it coming.
“It means that we will be overstaffed, particularly with qualified people.” Well that’s obvious. “So I will be looking at redundancies.” And I’m the obvious choice. “And it looks like you will be the one leaving.”
Now, is this as a result of the recession? No. In fact, as accountants, we have found that our workload is increasing. People are being made redundant, everywhere and are fed up with not being able to find a job. So they are taking their redundancy money and starting their own businesses. And, when they look at the complications of completing a tax return, where do they go for help? The accountant. That’s me.
Now, I am aware that there are a lot of people who would be absolutely devastated, right now. Strangely, however, I’m not. I will admit to being aware of concern; a little trepidation, perhaps. But not devastated. Why Not?
My boss asked me to leave the office immediately, “to think it over.”. That’s not unusual, at this level. It protects his business from sabotage and stealing client lists. So I sort of expected that. I felt it was rather disrespectful and unnecessarily lacking in trust. I am aware of annoyance; but I’m not devastated. Why?
How Mindfulness Helps
I am not devastated because I am aware of the complete picture. I have wanted to start my own practice for some time. I originally started studying accountancy so that I could be protected from the vagaries of the job market and so that I could continue to work, regardless of my health or other circumstances.
I am aware that I have become a little complacent, probably to the point of procrastination. Well, now I have a bit of an incentive to get out there and follow my dream. I will be able to earn far more than I was bringing home in far less time. And, if my practice grows well enough, I will be able to employ someone else to earn that money for me. With several grandchildren coming behind, I have no doubt that at least one of them would like to take over, at some point in time.
I am aware that I will now be in a position to spend time growing my own business, rather than someone else’s.
I am aware that this will be an incentive for me to stop procrastinating and get on with what I have to do.
And I am aware that just after I photographed the snow on Pen y Fan, last November, I stood on the train station platform in my boots and thermals, shivering, because of the snow. And that went on until about the end of February. I will not have to do that, this year. Strangely, my train ticket expires on 4th November; one year and one day after the first photo, with the snow, was taken.
I could go and look for another position, of course. But then, I would simply be sitting there wondering, what if?
So I am going to take my own advice and ask myself, What’s stopping you? Fear of failure? Or fear of success?
p.s. To all those bloggers who are offering ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. I am not so desperate as to become unrealistic. Thank you for your interest, but please do not leave any comments advertising your schemes as they will be deleted.