Again I ask myself the question, why do I write this guff? I guess the original answer would have been that I was aware all the while I was heavily involved in the day to day running of the business I was impeading the growth and experience of the next generation of leaders. For the sake of continuity and success it was crutial that they took decisions without looking over their shoulder to see if I would veto their ideas. (The "grown ups" call it succession planning). It was a very painful process for all of us because the business is my passion and I didn't quite know what else to do with myself so I kept showing up, misbehaving and interfering.
I tried researching the ancesters and did quite well for a while. In fact I still go back to it from time to time but I have quite a short attention span, it's a very lonely pursuit and I am happiest around people. I tried travelling, which was good, but I wouldn't want to spend my life doing it, I looked for a hobby and couldn't find one and then I decided to write about my struggles with myself. And guess what? Things changed.
At first the people around me were not sure if they approved, but as time went on they became more comfortable with it and, indeed, some became avid readers. So that was good. I could vent my feelings into the ether, it gave me a discipline, it gave me a reason for getting up in the morning and bought with it the added benefit of new friendships.
Then OG got cancer. This was a tricky one. Should I write about it or not? OG asked me to because he didn't want to talk about it himself and it meant that people weren't continually asking him how he was. So this is what I did and continue to do. When I write about him I always seek his approval, even when I snark! We both love the snark bits best!
It has been a strange journey. I believe that my absence from the office bought the desired results. My fellow directors are now stronger and more experienced and I am still around if they need my input, which they occasionaly do (but I suspect more out of respect than need, which is as it should be!).
I have almost come the full circle now. I have gone from having time on my hands to being extremely busy, but busy doing different stuff. I help out with my new baby great grandson and all the other great grandchildren and grandchildren, I sometimes "do lunch", I am chief adviser, designer and occasionally clearer upper for OG's house renovations, and my colleagues have graciously allow me to retain a desk on the mezzanine floor from which I survey my empire. I say, "graciously allow me" - for that read they wouldn't dare stop me! I still have teeth!!
Although I only speak for myself here I should say that OG is making his own journey in this process, part of which is to immerse himself in the renovations and he is, after all, much better at finding way to do nothing than I am!
And finally .. I believe that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.