Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Today I am grateful for work friends. It’s always nice when you can maintain friendships upon changing or leaving a job. When I left my last job, under odd conditions, it was the end of the school year so most people were swept up in their elation at having all of the testing and report cards done and they were looking forward to a little time off. I think only two or maybe three people even suspected I might not return.
I hunkered in deeply during the following months and kept in contact with only one person, avoiding all others, lest I say something I might later regret. It was the correct choice. But because of that decision, there were no bells and whistles ushering me into retirement. Much later, long after the fact, a few people met me at a restaurant for a little retirement soiree, which was great. . .even if it wasn’t the same celebration as for others who had retired.
That was one of the parts about my decision that I felt sad about. I really, really liked a lot of the people I worked with and still do. It would have been fun to go out with a bash. Who doesn’t like a good party? Especially me!
As the months went by, my retirement was officially announced. I scurried out of my cave and started writing the blog. A few friends from my old job heard about it and wanted to be included. Then a few more and a few more and soon people were “friending” me asking why they didn’t know I was such a good writer and so funny and why weren’t they friends with me? They now are. I think I “chat” with some of my former co-workers on Facebook more than we had time for when I worked with them. That’s a hoot! Sadly some of the people I miss the most, must not feel the same about me, so I don’t hear from them. That’s okay, too. People move on. Everyone has their reasons, agendas and their own perspectives. It’s a mutant circle of life thingy. I respect their choices. But for many years our lives were intertwined, so I still miss them.
But there are some. . .very few. . .but some, who want to meet me for lunch periodically to catch up in person. That’s just the best. We get face-time and I get hear about their lives, their families and what’s going on with people from the school I loved. Most of the kids I knew best have passed on to middle school or even high school. That’s their right-of-passage, yet a cruel sort of time warp for me. I wouldn’t recognize most.
Sitting outside in the shade the other day, among former co-worker friends, with absolutely perfect weather, enjoying fantastic food, the chatter was non-stop. As I was getting up to leave I started thinking about friends. Then two of them straddled their Harley Davidson’s, vrooming off in a cloud of sunshine. And I realized how lucky I am to have such an eclectic cluster of friends. Each one different. Each one special. Each one precious. Whether I’m still working, or not.