All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France
Although I retired back in August, I have been heading into my old office a few days a week for the past 6 weeks doing consulting work, finishing up some things for the Town. Although the hours were fewer and the work was less stressful, to some degree I didn't feel like I had really left...until today.
Today, I wrapped up the consulting gig and said my goodbyes. It was sort of an anticlimax after a wonderful retirement party in August. And I know I will see most of the people in my office again when I visit. But still, it marked an ending for me. I turned in my keys and my laptop and left behind 16 years of hard work, a way of life and many friends.
I have heard it said that women in particular have difficulty separating work relationships from personal relationships. I know that's true with me. For me the "job" is all about relationships, like every other part of my life. I guess I am pretty open with the people I work with. I was never very secretive and I think most people who know me, know a lot about me. My life is pretty much an open book. I looked forward to coming in each morning and telling my coworkers about some stupid thing I did or said the night before or sharing something I read or heard, or discovered about life. Everyone knew about Ed almost the first day he contacted me and they lived through my first visit to Chattanooga and my angst about so many things with my kids. And oh, the menopause years! I laugh a lot at work, I mean a lot. Sometimes I felt like I was entertaining the troops and sometimes they entertained me. So, it will be strange not to share with these folks my moods or the latest gossip or a joke or just life. And I will miss not hearing about their lives and laughing with them each day.
I would be the first to admit that I couldn't have accomplished anything without these workplace relationships that we all worked hard to foster. I think it is easiest to accomplish things in an environment of trust. Learning to trust people comes naturally from shared experiences and working toward similar goals in work and in life. Many of these folks will remain close friends in years to come. I am certain of that.
I will always be grateful for the challenges, the comraderie, and the laughs that I shared with my friends at work. I hope you all have the same opportunity somewhere, some time in your lives that I have had the last 16 in mine.
Have a great day!