Have you ever seen or heard something that caused you to look back at the choices you've made in your life? I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning about Charlene Binder, the new senior vice president and chief people officer of the Hershey company. She will oversee global human resources, corporate communications, and facilities management.
Ms. Binder is 47 years old.
I turned 47 just a few days ago, and my last job was as a human resources executive.
Our lives are very different...but a few subtle changes in the decisions each of us had made could have resulted in a sort of 'Trading Places' scenario.
Please don't misunderstand what I am writing. I'm not saying that I could take her job or that her choices are in any way wrong. Nor are mine. They are just different, and a series of small choices can end up in very different outcomes.
I don't know anything about her personal life...if she's married or has children. I do know that she has changed companies at least three times. She worked for Unilever from 2001 - 2006, and for Group Danone (Dannon Yogurt) recently. Her new job will include the benefit of unlimited chocolate.
So is this typical midlife evaluation and comparison? Maybe, but the result of this particular review is relief and peace. As I got ready this morning I thought about the things she must be going through this morning. She doesn't start her new job for a few weeks, but I imagine she's a bundle of nerves and energy. She faces saying goodbye to friends and collegues at her current company. She may be packing up her life and her family as she heads to a new location, and soon she will have to jump on a steep learning curve to understand a new company, new people, and new challenges in her job.
Today I face a quite different scenario. After we all get ready, I'll drop the boys off at school and Sammi will run some errands with me (her school is closed today due to power outages). We'll hit the bank, the grocery store, Target, and a few other places. This afternoon I'll struggle some more with my book proposal as I prepare to submit it for critique and I'll do some house cleaning. My near future includes a trip to Jackson Tennessee with my folks and Doug's parents to see our oldest, Alicia, perform her senior recital...one of the final requirements for her college graduation. Next week I'll travel to California to attend what has been billed to be an amazing Christian Writer's conference. I expect to be overwhelmed with my lack of ability and to develop a plan for improving my skills so I can do what I believe I'm being called to. My job includes increasingly limited hugs.
I wouldn't trade my life for anything. Not even all the chocolate I can eat!
Charlene, I pray that you, too, are right where you want to be in life. I wish you the best in your new position.