I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, March 26, 2010

#94 Going Away Parties

Continuing with the 100 life-enriching little nuances series…

Work plaque I’ve never had a retirement party, but I’ve heard other people talk about them and they sound like a combination of joy and great sorrow – the place where completion meets either a silent dread of the unknown or zealous optimism.

Maybe non-retirement going away work parties are just a mini version of the retirement variety. I’ve had one of those.

When I left the bank I was working for in 2003, my department presented me with a plaque (pictured – and yes, my first name is Jerry). Yeah, there was some sadness. I’d become quite close to several co-workers. How could that not be the case?

One of them was the first person to whom I spoke the words, “My dad just passed away.” She asked me if I was okay to drive. I told her I was, but I should have taken her up on her offer to drive me home because I was a mess.

I shared an office with them on September 11, 2001. We gathered around in cloisters, wondering internally and out loud what, exactly, was going on.

We also wondered about our jobs on several occasions. We attended each other’s weddings. We picked up the slack for each other when one of us was going through a difficult time. And some of us developed strong friendships that exist to this day.

I hated leaving all that behind. But my going-away party felt like a commissioning of sorts. Several of my co-workers knew I had been dreaming about doing more with my writing and having their support meant a lot to me.

The plaque says it all, “Best wishes with your writing career. We know you can do it!”

I haven’t arrived, even seven years later. In fact, I struggle to pay the bills each month, but I’m doing what I love to do while patiently waiting for a break – knowing it could come with the next email or phone call.

But these little celebrations we do for one another – the going away parties, the congratulations parties, the celebratory dinners – they matter. They encourage, they linger and they make memories that sustain us.


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