It’s Good Not To Be King

Or queen.  As you prefer.

I’ve become engrossed in the Teaching Company’s lectures on Medieval England, and the more I learn about being king, the less appealing it becomes – at least to me.  The constant maneuvering, the battles for position, the forsaking of personal relationships for business ones – why, it sounds a lot like life in the corporate world during uncertain times.

For more years than I like to think about, I called the shots at work.  Overall?  It was great, and throughout the executive portion of my career, I enjoyed “my reign” and the privileges that cometh with “royalty”.  But there was a downside (OK, there were lots), usually around political battles.  Which were exhausting, and ultimately for me, self-destructive in terms of my health and my career.

So over the last year, as I walked away from full-time work into full-time life with an occasional consulting assignment – of my choosing – one of the things I’ve learned to love most is not being in charge.  I’m not in charge of anyone’s career.  I’m not in charge of anyone’s raise or promotion. I’m not in charge of anyone’s business, except my own.  I’m not responsible for other people’s work.  I answer only for what I do.  And I can’t tell you how liberating this is.

There have been adjustments.  No one kisses my ass anymore.  I don’t walk up the red carpet to board the plane.  I actually have to watch what I spend, as big paychecks are a thing of the past. I don’t have access to the inside story, or to CEOs and other gods of the corporate world.

Like I said, it’s good not to be king.

It’s January, and a full, delightful year of not having those corporate worries anymore has passed.  I’m 58 years old, but feel like a kid again.  When I have a chance to add value through my knowledge and creativity, I’m delighted to do it.  When I don’t, I’m very happy to entertain myself.  (And I’m darn good at it, if I do so say myself!)

My husband was worried that I would be a fish out of water without my crown and scepter, that I would be bored, restless and depressed.  He is frankly shocked at how little I miss the power and the glory.

So a toast to being a commoner.  Long may we reign!


2 Responses

  1. Hear-hear! I feel exactly the same way.

  2. You don’t realize how bent your back was until the burdens are gone and then you can walk tall.

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