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When a season ends

Ending a season

“Making a big life change is scary. But you know what is scarier? Regret.” Unknown

Many will know how much I love Doha, Qatar. Leading up to this year’s trip, I had a feeling this would be my last year working on the project that has taken me to the Gulf for the past three years. There were many indicators that this season was coming to an end.

It wasn’t a ‘well, glad to see that one over’ kind of season ending. It was more an ‘appreciate every last minute of my time there because this will be the last one in this context’ ending.

I was invited to return next year and many of my wonderful Doha colleagues said they hoped I’d reconsider my decision. I was tempted many times to do just that-but I know my priorities and projects lie elsewhere for now. The decision was both clear and difficult. Sometimes season endings are welcome. Sometimes they are imposed on us which although hard, take away any nagging doubts about ‘have I done the right thing’? I’ve talked to a few people who have had similar season endings to my current one. They’ve left (at their initiative) a situation, country or organisation that has both fulfilled and inspired them, knowing it was time to move on-at least for now- in spite of the emotional pull to stay.

Here are a few things I’ve reminded myself of as I’ve walked through this season end:

  1. All good things have to end sometime. At some point, we have to face the pain of leaving behind a special chapter in our lives.
  2. Prolonging a season when we know it is time to move on will either drag out the inevitable or tarnish the experience because of the frustrations, setbacks or closed doors that accompany a situation that is no longer the right fit for us.
  3. Missing something does not mean we’ve made the wrong move or that we have regrets-it is a reminder of how fortunate we were to experience and contribute to something so good for us and good to us.
  4. It doesn’t mean the door to that experience, location or job is closed for good. There may be opportunities in a different context that aligns with our new season.

I call them reminders because I have experienced all of the above. A few years ago, I was very torn about leaving an organisation when I was approached by a consulting company to work with them. External consulting seemed the best fit for me, but it was not easy to move away from the wonderful community in the organisation I’d leave. The move was right from a ‘best use of skills’ perspective and within 2 months my former workplace asked me to do some consulting with them and to my great delight, they’ve been a client ever since. My return to Doha in 2010 was a similar situation. I fell in love with Doha in 2006 when on a consulting assignment. When I left the consulting company, the doors to that project were closed, and four years later, I was presented with an opportunity to return to Doha working for the organisation that was my very first choice for my return to Qatar. Had I given in to the pull to resist those seasons ending, I’d be locked into a situation that had long outlived its purpose for me and missed out on these other new seasons.

Published inBlogFearless LivingUncategorized

7 Comments

  1. Di Thompson Di Thompson

    I needed this today Linda. I have been with my accountant this week deregistering my company and closing my family trust. and feel a bit sad. I have decided to retire due to hearing loss and must admit I feel in a strange place at the moment. It is time to look at other areas of life, spend time with family, friends and colleagues and keep learning from life.

    The world is changing as we know it and I look forward to a chance to give something back to the community.

    • Linda Chaousis Linda Chaousis

      Di, I can imagine how this transition must feel. I must say I am surprised at how the ‘leaving Doha behind’ has affected me. I already miss it and feel a sense of ‘loss’ that I won’t be returning next year. I remember hearing a psychologist on TV say that when we leave something behind, it is important to yes, grieve the loss, but also set our sight on what lies ahead even if the picture is fuzzy. I am sure great things are in store for you. You have so much to give to the community!

  2. Zubair Zubair

    Good luck Linda,

    Going through a similar situation, the blog will help me in making a positive move.

    • Linda Chaousis Linda Chaousis

      Zubair, Good to hear the blog post was helpful. You more than anyone will know the many things I’ll miss about Doha and how hard it is to tear oneself away – even if it is for 4 weeks once a year! All the best to you in your decision making!

  3. Megan Gillies Megan Gillies

    Think there is something in this for more than one element of my life at the moment Linda, I have come to know season endings as sad but I can see perhaps a way for them to be the start of something else very positive…thank you!

    • Linda Chaousis Linda Chaousis

      Megan, one of the things that I’ve found is that ending some seasons is quite a transition. Even though I know that for now the Doha season is over or at least suspended, I find myself missing my colleagues there and sad that I won’t be boarding a plane in June to go there. But I know it was the right decision for a range of family, professional and ‘next stage’ reasons.

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