One way of looking at my past 2 years, is to see it as an on-going experiment in letting go. In some ways, letting go has always been easy – I am notorious (with those who know about it) for ditching diaries, emails and paperwork when they have served their purpose. I am uncomfortable with clutter whether physical or mental. Similarly, holding on to any ‘intellectual property’ has always been anathema – perhaps because I believe we stand on the shoulders of giants and any insights or new ideas come through us, not from us. So we really have no right to a sense of ownership.
Nevertheless, having let go of a leadership role in two projects that have been very important over many years has given me pause for thought.
So many people (including those that I thought knew me well) have said that I must find it hard to let go (they assume I feel possessive about projects I have created and carried for so many years) or that I must feel sad about stepping back and / or moving away. But I really don’t feel either of these things at all. I actually feel relieved to be shedding responsibility, combined with a kind of objective curiosity about the future of the work in which I have invested time and effort.
Above all, I try (rather late in life!) to exercise the discipline of simply waiting to see what comes next – whether reigniting interests from the distant past or welcoming something entirely unexpected from the future. Patience never having been my strongest virtue (understatement) this is a new experience and whilst on some days I find it challenging, on most days I find it completely intriguing.