Wednesday, 2 November 2005

"What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" - Michel Legrand, 1969

Something has been on my mind a lot lately. I was under the weather last week, and as a result I found myself thinking about this even more than usual.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

OK..I'm not a kid. But that fact doesn't stop me from thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life.

After ending my "student years", I began what's now become a 30+ year career in the oil business. During most of that time, I was a crude oil trader/marketer working for large oil companies. It was a fascinating career, but it ended in 2002. It was not my choice for it to end when it did, but it was the right time to stop being what my friend Bill affectionately calls a "traderette". Now, thanks for a wonderful opportunity provided by my current employers, I'm training people in the petroleum industry -- all over the world -- how to do many of the things I was involved in through all those years.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching. It surprises me how very much I'm enjoying the interaction with the students. I almost don't miss my former career at all -- perhaps I only feel a twinge or two when some major news item is affecting the price of crude oil, when I'd love to be right in the middle of all of the action.

Since I've started training, I've discovered that I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from mentoring my students -- especially the young ones. Many of them remain in touch with me after the class is over. That's very cool.

So I've been thinking about something. When the time comes (which I hope it eventually will...) that I don't need to work for money, what am I going to do with myself? I was thinking about volunteering to mentor students -- maybe especially young women -- who perhaps just need a little help navigating through life. Maybe just a word or two of encouragement from an interested non-relative would be helpful. Maybe that's something I could do.

Back in the early-80's, when I was living in Houston, I began the process of being approved by the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program to be a Big Sister. But I had to withdraw my application when my father's health worsened...I felt it would be unfair to take time away from my own family at that point. And somehow, as happens in life, I never got around to thinking seriously about any charitable work again. Life got too busy...too hectic...too complicated.

John and I have talked about how we both would like to get involved with something charitable. I'm sure we will. And in the meantime, I've just heard from my friend Chris, who has recently retired from oil trading, that he's involved in a student mentoring program in the community where he lives in the States. Good for him! I'm sure he's terrific at it, and I'm very proud of him for giving of himself like this. How interesting that Chris has told me this, when I've been thinking about doing the very same thing!

We'll see what the future brings, then...



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home