The things we leave behind

John thought he had it made. He’d worked real hard and it had finally all paid off. After 25years at the same company his loyalty had finally been rewarded.  He’d been made partner and moved into his big corner office on the 21st floor, with it’s black marble floors, white leather furniture and impressive murals.

When he first landed a job at one of the biggest accounting firms in the country he was ecstatic. John was fresh out of university and filled with optimism for the world which awaited him. He had a full proof plan: work hard; put in the hours (and then some); make partner by age 35; make good investments; buy a nice house and some property and retire to Italy at the age of 45 with his wife and kids.

But now here he was, not quite the scrawny, naive 25year old he used to be, making partner at the age of 50. Not quite the way he planned it, but people are bound to make concessions for what they really want in life, John thought. At least he had managed to secure himself a reputable image in the corporate sector and professionals respected him as much for his work ethic as his insight and that says a lot, he thought.

So retirement would come later, but who would want to retire when you’re this high up anyway and who’d want to give up an amazing top floor view of the city he reassured himself. John had managed to buy his beautiful big house in the leafy suburbs and acquired a very desirable property portfolio to boot. There was no doubt about it, he knew how to use his head.

But, somewhere along his journey he’d lost his heart. Sure there was a wife and kids, in fact there were several, but none of them seemed to stick around for very long, but in all honesty neither did he. The long hours at the office, the business meetings on the weekend, the international conferences and the awards dinners eventually took on a life of their own leaving behind those who cared most about him, those who loved him more than money or success could and those who’d stuck by his side when he had little more than £10 in his bank account.  

John had finally made it to the top and the view was unbelievable, unbelievably lonely. At the age of 50 John sat down in his black leather swivel chair in his corner office on the 21st floor and examined his life. He examined all his accomplishments and his losses.

At his funeral two weeks later, they said he was a smart man, a good man, a man who was fully committed to his work and would be a tragic loss to the industry. They said he left behind a magnificent mansion, a portfolio of properties worth millions of pounds, an estate in Italy, five cars, no wife, no children and no relatives.

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One thought on “The things we leave behind

  1. Bilqees Hendricks says:

    Oh my gosh! Let John's story be a warning to all of us. We should all draw up a mission statement someday and live by it.. the mission statement should not only include our ambitions but other things our heart desires.


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