The first day…

So – today is my first day post-Telstra!

I have spent the day in Sydney delivering a half-day workshop at the Data Quality conference, and spent some time catching up with Matt Moore in the evening over a refreshing drink or two – and a $10 steak.  We had a very small group for the workshop, but everyone seemed to get something useful from it.  It was actually quite fun having the small group – we only needed one table, so I came and sat at the table as well, and delivered the session from there.  More fun in the city tomorrow.

By odd coincidence, last night was also my first night at a Creative Writing course at CAE, which I am attending with my daughter Renée.  One of the exercises at the course was to write continuously – about anythng – for ten minutes.  You can imagine what was the first thing that came to mind.  So, just for fun, here it is – completely unedited:

This is an interesting time.  A beginning – several beginnings, in fact – and an end.

I have just completed my last day in the office after 35 years of work.  By odd coincidence, I am starting a course in creative writing on the same day.

Tomorrow is the first of May.  The first day of the rest of my life!  It is still a struggle for my mind to fully come to terms with this, even though I have now had seven weeks’ notice.  There still seems to have been so many things to do – many endings, handing over, thanking, good-byes.

I have in another way been rehearsing for this day for four or more years.  Planning, networking and organizing towards this new and uncertain life.

Uncertain?  Perhaps.  But also exhilarating, fresh, new – exciting.

I will be putting myself on the line now.  I am now an independent consultant.  I am hanging up my shingle, even though I am still working out exactly what is written on that shingle.

One of the most amazing things to me is all the words of encouragement I have been receiving.  “Lucky you!”  “How did you do it?”  This is one theme I have been hearing.

It is a great feeling – but also very humbling.

So how will things go from here?  It seems like I won’t be short of work.  Many of the potential opportunities that have been suggested may vanish once I start asking for payment for my services; but it really looks like enough of them will bear fruit.

There may even be travel – fulfilling a life-long passion.  There will be interesting people to meet.  And many more coincidental events – like starting a creative writing course – planned months ago – on the very eve of the first day of the rest of my life.

This is a great place to end this story – but it is only the first chapter.  The last 35 years have been training for this new day.  The first of May.  A day to celebrate spring in some parts of the world.  A day to celebrate revolutions in others.  What will I be celebrating on the next first of May?  I look forward with eager anticipation.

There will certainly be many things to learn over this time, and travel to places where the learning will accelerate.  New Caledonia at least.  Will there be travel to India?  To Dubai, Singapore, New Zealand, the UK?

I look forward to finding out, as I put my foot down on the first step of this amazing journey.


  1. Serena –

    Thanks very much!

    I guess there were times at Telstra when I felt a bit like a crash-test dummy… Just call me “Buster”.

    The lyrics are very powerful – found them here.

    So hold this feeling like a newborn
    Of freedom surging through your veins
    You have opened up a new door
    So bring on the wind, fire and rain

  2. Congratulations Keith, and a lovely piece of writing too.

    Please take a look at this video clip of Missy Higgins on You Tube playing Steer, my favourite song of 2007 (it’s in the running to be my favourite song this year too…). It shows her in a very odd occupation, but the song itself is achingly beautiful and appropriate to where you are now (as it is very much for me too).

  3. Cory –

    Thanks! Yes, there have been a few more days since – and a very busy time! All going exceptionally well so far. Will get some more posts up soon…

    – Keith

  4. Keith
    I enjoyed reading this entry very much – an extraordinary time for you and you’ve evoked the converging feelings and meanings with powerful simplicity.
    I’m looking forward to us all sharing the ‘little journey’ of the next couple of months …

    Buen Camino (‘have a good road’ in Spanish)

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