“The future is not a result of choices among alternatives paths offered by the present, but a place that is created - created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not someplace we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination.”
- Mary Jane Ryan
This is the first day of 2010, my first post in three months, and the first time I will express any sort of opinion on my blog since July.
As one of the first non-official federal public service bloggers and a fairly outspoken contrarian on the topic of people management, staffing, and values and ethics (just to name a few), I have made myself a very easy target for the defenders of the status quo on these sensitive issues.
Still to this day, I meet opposition every time I open my mouth and express an idea that goes against "the way things have always been done", or something that begs for a change in behaviour on the part of the people in the audience. At first, I had the element of surprise playing in my favour, but with time I have noticed that my efforts to change the culture have in many cases caused those who most need to change to harden their position.
Consequently, for me, 2009 has been... hum... interesting. On one hand, I have experienced the greatest satisfaction in my entire professional life, when I received tangible proofs of the positive impact my work was having on employee engagement within my organization. On the other hand, a series of disappointments stemming from events, circumstances, as well as the actions and behaviours of certain people outside my immediate organization, have caused me to disengage from my work (ironically!), the broader renewal agenda, and my blogging activity.
On the personal front however, 2009 has been generous to me. It wasn't always easy (understatement!), but in the end I emerged a grown person. As a result, many of my priorities in life have changed, and quite frankly at the present time, blogging and my work on PS Renewal are simply not among them. The few times in the last six months when I found my passion back, I noticed it was always accompanied by an exceedingly high level of intolerance towards silly bureaucracy, poor management, and the everyday human stupidity. All in all, a very dangerous cocktail for venting frustrations in a nonconstructive way!
I have therefore decided to focus on the essential in my work life, and the part that energizes me the most and which I am most proud of: my immediate organization, Conservation and Protection in the Pacific Region. I'm blessed to have outstanding bosses, colleagues, and employees. No citizen could dream of having a more committed group of people as their public servants. Above all, I really believe I work for the single best organization in the entire federal public service!
True to my contrarian inclinations, I have also decided to take a three-months "mini-retirement" at a time that could be considered the peak of my short but fulfilling career. While the world will be converging to my city, Vancouver, to watch the 2010 Winter Olympics, I'll be escaping the frenzy to go enjoy life quietly in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I still don't know what awaits me there, but I sure will make the most of it!
I wish you all a happy and fulfilling year!