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53 and counting January 19, 2008

Posted by Peter Hornby in worklife.

Today’s my 53rd birthday, I’m happy to say.  My life is in the middle of being turned upside-down, so it’s maybe time for some reflection.   A year ago, I was halfway through my 30th year with Unisys, and wondering, with increasing frequency, if this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my working career.  Well, the question was resolved in December, and I’m – mostly – pretty delighted.  For the first time in decades, I can say, with some certainty, that I have no idea what I’ll be doing, or where I’ll be doing it, a year from now.  There a sense of liberation, but also a feeling that this is a chance, maybe my only chance, to move my life in a direction of my own choosing.

And there’s the wrinkle.  I’ve never been particularly good at acting, rather than reacting.  Most of my career moves, starting back to 1977, when I joined Burroughs in the UK, have been, to a lesser or greater extent, influenced more by circumstance than my conscious choice.  So, here’s a chance to change that, and I’m starting by taking advantage of the outplacement services provided by Unisys.  The program is offered by Right Management, and I attended my initial orientation class on Wednesday.  Right Management seem very energised and on the ball, and I’m looking forward to working with them.

But not just yet.  First comes some travelling.  We have three jaunts planned over the next six weeks or so.  First off, we’re heading up to the Bay Area, to see friends in Paso Robles, San Francisco and Sonoma.  Lorraine also wants to get to Fort Bragg, famed home of beach glass, so we’ll try to fit that in too.  Then it’s a road trip to Tucson, for our second annual visit to the Tucson Gem Show.  Last year, we were like a couple of kids, just blown away by the size of the thing, and by the astonishing range of products available.  This year, I think we’ll have a little better idea of what we’ll be looking for, but it’s still going to be pretty overwhelming.  Finally, we’re planning a week on the East Coast, to see friends in Philadelphia and New York.

And then, in early March, it’ll be time to start the serious business of inventing a future.

Watch this space.



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