Turning 60: Life reflections from Peyton T. Everdeen

Turning 60: Life reflections from Peyton T. Everdeen

Life Reflections from Peyton T. Everdeen

It’s 2:29 am.  Mom was soundly asleep, but I couldn’t go back to sleep.  So many thoughts have been running through my mind since I went to the bathroom around 1:00 am.  In less than 24 hours, I would be turning 60.  I would soon be a Dual Citizen – a proud Filipino citizen and not-so-proud Senior Citizen.

Every time I add another decade to my life, I make sure to spend time reviewing my past before I move forward to the next chapter.  When I reached 40, my major realization was, “I’m still single at 40. Maybe it’s about time that I stop looking for the right man and let Mr. Right find me.”  10 years later, Mr. Right has not found me.  When I turned 50, my major realization was, “It’s a lot harder to be a self-employed Process Consultant than being an employed Executive.  Maybe it would be better to start looking for a man who could love and support me.”  10 years later, Mr. Right has not found me.  Neither have I found Mr. Rich.

Before I turn 60, my stubborn self decided to spend time again to look back at my life but this time with a specific objective:  to identify my successes and failures.  Since it is a lot easier to spot mistakes, let’s start with what I consider my major failures.   1st, in spite of my academic achievements from elementary to college, I failed to fulfill my dream of being in the Top 20 of the board examinations for Certified Public Accountants.  2nd, I failed to have what most women aspire for: getting married, being a Mom, and having a happy prosperous family life.  3rd, I failed to make myself financially independent before I turned 60 probably because I retired too early from the Corporate world then failed to achieve a sustainable consultancy business for myself.  Worse, this pandemic limited my capacity to look for new projects and earn because our house helps resigned and I chose to take care of my 84-year old widowed Mom who required 24/7 care.  

Enough of my failures and let me now start thinking of what I consider my successes.  As of today, I have 11 nephews/nieces from my siblings and 2 grandchildren from my siblings’ children.  When I read their letters to me about how they could still remember how fun it was to attend our summer outings and Christmas reunions, it warmed my heart.  When they came to me for help in doing their school projects, preparing their CV, choosing a school or employer, or even handling a problem with their “Boss” in the office, it warmed my heart.  It felt even better after I was able to help them.  I may not have given birth to a child, but I have 11 nephews/nieces whom I treated and continue to treat like my own children.  I love them all and am very proud of each one of them.

My 2nd success is related to my desire initially to teach then eventually to mentor.  Ever since I had my first subordinate, it felt good every time I taught them something and they were able to learn it quickly or even better, when they were able to improve on what they learned.  When I started heading big groups, I always tell the team that my objective as their “Boss” is to make myself obsolete.  That meant achieving a state where the team can effectively function on a day-to-day basis without my supervision.  I could no longer count the number of subordinates that I have had during my corporate career.  What I could still do is smile and be proud of their career achievements.  Some even managed to handle positions higher than what I did. 

My 3rd success, which happened during this pandemic, was how I was able to learn new skills.  When I was in the corporate world, I was able to work for several organizations in various industries:  Banking, Consumer Goods Manufacturing/Resale, Real Estate, Retail, and External Audit.  I also worked for different functional units within these organizations:  External Consulting, Internal / External Audit, Cost and Budget, Process Management, Corporate Planning / Investor Relations, Strategic Business Unit Management, Sales, Marketing and Communications, and Product Management.

During this pandemic, I was forced to learn a different set of skills.  I learned how to take care of an elderly who needs 24/7 care.  With the help of YouTube videos, I was able to learn how to cook, bake, or even trim and style hair.  I learned how to do the laundry and even developed a process flowchart with standard timing for each step.  I also learned how to take care of, propagate using various methods or even revive dying plants.  I refer to my plants as my Mom’s “apos” or grandchildren from me.  In the condo where I used to live, I would just call the maintenance personnel every time something needs to be fixed.  Now I know how to assemble items that I buy online, how to fix the flush or seat cover of the lavatory, how to use a high-pressure washer and perform other DIY tasks. 

My 4th and maybe the most significant achievement were the countless meaningful relationships that I developed with members of our immediate/extended family, with friends, with co-employees, with my clients, etc.  These relationships made my life easier, happier, and more purposeful. I am particularly joyful of the relationship I have with my Mom.  Every time I see her smile or laugh, every time I hear her say “Thank you Anak or I love you more Anak”, I forget about everything I had to do and sacrifice.   My Mom continues to be my source of strength and happiness. 

Yes, it took me 60 years to commit all my failures and achieve all my successes.  Life is tough but I love the life I had, in spite of its challenges.

Moving forward, I have decided to start each day by thanking God then choosing to be happy and grateful. 

After 60 years in the making, I will just be thankful for each day that I am blessed with.  I will also start enjoying my dual citizenship and make my relationships more meaningful. 

 Happy birthday dear self.  I love you and I’m so proud of you.

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Warms my heart while reading this….reminds me to count my blessings and be thankful…thanks for taking us through your journey; there are lows bur certainly your highs are the ones that truly count…


Warms my heart while reading this….reminds me to count my blessings and be thankful…thanks for taking us through your journey; there are lows bur certainly your highs are the ones that truly count…


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