Tomorrow, I will run my last big event at work, pack up my desk, and have some drinks with my colleagues and friends on my last day with the company.
Someone from my family has been with that company for the last 43 years, with up to 3 concurrently at times, and I’m leaving. I’m actually saying goodbye. And I’m about to begin another new chapter. Starting with getting on a plane first thing the next morning…
I’m not going to reminisce right now. That might come later: the soppy stories about life, love and friends. Oh, and work! But for now my message is a little different.
A lot can change in six months. If you’re in a place where you feel a little stuck, or bored, or sad, or helpless, or hopeless (or excited, or happy!), or anything at all, it doesn’t take much to change it. And it can happen because of the smallest things. Meeting a person, hearing some information, going to a place, seeing a new perspective, finding a new way, taking a new risk, or even deciding not to take a risk. Ok, so I had a stroke, which is bigger than most things, but the stroke in and of itself didn’t cause the change, it was just part of the story.
It probably did do two things: it was the trigger for someone to come back into my world in a way I hadn’t expected, and it probably helped me have the gumption (or reason, or even excuse) to stick to my guns about a couple of things that I might have compromised on otherwise. Because taking some time away from life/work/most things – and it has to be said it’s the time out rather than the stroke – reminded me that life is for truly living the best way we know how, principles and all. Sometimes it’s worth owning that, and knowing that you’re making choices every day, and you get to choose to make the same choices or different choices on a moment by moment basis. And there is always a choice, even if the only one you can make today is to ‘smile anyway’. It makes a difference to know that. And it’s surprising what a difference ‘smiling anyway’ can actually make.
I guess I’m saying ‘hang in there’. Magic happens when you’re least expecting it.
I will mourn what I’m about to leave behind, in terms of both work and the new people I know in the medical system, which is also petering out. But I wouldn’t change any of it. Particularly not stroke which has, bizarrely, given me such precious friends, memories and insights into other people.
And I’m also excited about what could happen next. I mean, wouldn’t you be?!