Four years ago, I was involved in a car accident – the other driver came through a ‘give way’ and “T-boned” me. The accident was 100% her fault with no blame attributed to me. The problem was – I hurt my back which has meant that I cannot sit or stand for long periods and I need to get up move, and stretch, every 20 minutes. The accident was in a work car, in work time, and for the next 12 months, I was put on restricted duties which meant that my teaching hours were reduced due to me needing to move and stretch frequently.
After 12 months, work expected me to be back on full-time duties, including teaching for 6 hours straight with no break. I cut back to 4 days/week (with the resulting pay cut) but my workload was not reduced and I was then informed that I could no-longer perform the duties that I was hired to do, and unless I agreed to an increased workload, then I was to be “terminated”!
So, three months later I was formally “terminated”. The shame attached to the label “termination” has been hard to shake and I often asked myself whether I did the right thing (refusing to agree to an increased workload which went against every health practitioner’s advice) or deciding to look after my own health and not risk aggravating my back injury even more!
This journey has given me an understanding and empathy for women who have been ‘transitioned’ out paid employment into the uncertainty of ‘what’s next’ and ‘can I make a living?’ These are questions that I have also struggled with (and continue to face).
Over the last couple of years I have had to learn how to deal with shame, anxiety and worry as I took the journey of developing my own business. This has meant that I have called upon the skills and experience that I had accumulated as a nurse, educator, counsellor and coach. I have developed a resilience that I didn’t know I had as I navigated the road where “older women” are usually not expected to travel. I have utilised skills in online course development, Social Media, website development, video, blogging, and everything else! I am still a “work in progress”, and I have survived being “terminated!” I have come out the other side and I know that I have a hell of lot more life in me as I work with other women going through similar processes!
If you’d like to chat about your own transitions, then click the link and let’s ‘get together’ online. I’d also love to hear your “transition” stories and what it was that got you through the transition journey. Don’t forget to “comment” below!