The end of a long run

After a very long run, nearly 32 years, it finally happened: my position at my longtime employer was terminated. After the phone call I was a little dazed, as if I was in the middle of a heavy fog, like the ones I remember from my childhood in wet Holland. And then I started to think about what it all meant. There was a bit of, why me (and then why us when I learned a colleague who does similar work was also let go) but it didn’t last long. It is true, when a door closes, all you need to do is turn around and all sorts of doors appear, some already slightly ajar, and some with the key in the lock, requiring only a simple turn. And then some wide open.

The more I thought about what my new life would be, the more excited I got. I called up people, I posted on facebook and LinkedIn and the requests for my CV and personal email address came flooding in. Best of all, some of those are for assignments I would have loved to take on but couldn’t in the past because I was full-time employed.

And as the days went by more and more doors opened. I can now babysit in the middle of the week, go skiing next winter when the rates are low, mid week. I don’t have to get up at 4:30 anymore; I don’t need to count remaining vacation days and I don’t need to deal with performance reviews and such, corporate requirements that are no longer relevant to me. Freedom and liberation are the operative words. I feel like a kidding a candy store – I can do whatever I want.

After my last day in the office, sometime mid June, I will have just a few days before my first consulting assignment, that was thrown in my lap by a longtime friend from Holland who retired after a career at the WorldBank. We will be together in Saudi Arabia to help the Crown  Prince with the reform and reorganization of the health sector and I get to teach about leadership, change management, emotional intelligence or I know not what. It is very exciting.

5 Responses to “The end of a long run”

  1. 1 Judy April 14, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    That’s a surprise to many of us who have known what a wonderful job you have always done for MSH.

    I wonder if I know anyone who still works for MSH. Please send us your new personal email address.

    I’m in Florida now, but will be flying back to Logan in a few days. Living is easy in Delray Beach. Think I should become a Florida resident

    Enjoy your time with Axel and your family. Very special days ahead!!

    Hugs, j.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • 2 svriesendorp April 22, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks Judy, there are only. a handful left from your days. Yes, Florida sounds good, without much travel this winter has been endless. My personal email is, just replace with

  2. 3 Carol Sawyer April 15, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Sylvia, this is going to be a most wonderful new chapter in your life. Best wishes for happiness. It is quite remarkable to not need to set an alarm clock in the morning and to have such choice of how to spend (invest!) each day. Hugs and love, Carol Sawyer in San Diego

    • 4 svriesendorp April 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      thanks Carol, yes there are many appealing aspects of my new life and I hope to do more of what I love to do (teaching and traveling). Cheers

  3. 5 worldstagegirl May 5, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Sylvia,

    I’m excited for you for your next chapter. I hope you’re doing well!

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