Reflections & New Beginnings
At the end of a chapter in life, I have come to the conclusion that we must take a moment to reflect.
On Friday, I walked out of my office for the final time. The parties were over, the cake was long gone and the presents and the cards had been opened. I had the opportunity to laugh, celebrate and reminisce with some of the most amazing people I have ever had the chance to work with. They are people I have built relationships with over these past few years that I am so thankful for. I have laughed with them, I have cried with them, I have collaborated with them and I have changed lives with them. Perhaps most important for me, I have hugged it out with almost every one of them. (What can I say, I am a hugger and that’s a beautiful thing.)
A few things crossed my mind as I slid my office door closed and locked it for the final time…
We pass this way only once. Cherish each and every moment of each and every day. Give your best in your endeavors and take ownership of the things you do- perform your tasks as if you were going to do it for the rest of your life. Give your full attention to your life and the moments that make up the grander picture. Like Dr. K.E. says “Keep the main thing the main thing.” Have laser focus with your moments and experience each and every second. Most times we don’t get second chances and life offers no do-overs so give your everything in all that you do and soak it all in.
Take the time to meet people and get to know them. I don’t mean the small talk around the water cooler or a casual smile as you pass in the hallway. I mean really get to know people. Get to know about them and their families- their backgrounds and where they came from. Get to know their pet’s names, when their birthday is and what makes them tick. It is through these everyday relationships that we become privy to the richness of life. Ask people how their day is and when they answer, really listen. Pay attention and listen to what people don’t say and you will be amazed what you notice and hear. We are all in this life together… We might as well get to know each other while we are here.
Take the time to be a mentor. This is possibly a bit easier for me to do because I work on a college campus and I am surrounded by young people. If that’s not your environment- seek it out in your local community. Take your skills, abilities and everything you have learned in the sum of your days and pass them on to the next generation. It’s not always easy and some days you will wonder if the things you say or do are mattering at all. I can promise you it matters. It all matters. The time you pour into the life of another to help them make their life better always matters. You may not ever see the results on this side of Heaven, but one day I believe you will. I believe the time we invest in others lives gets multiplied tenfold into something far greater than ourselves.
Once again, I am going to go ahead and quote Mr. Winnie the Pooh (though he said “lucky” and I say “thankful”) “How thankful I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Saying goodbye is hard but when you can look back and see what was accomplished, gather lessons learned and be grateful for the forward progress, it makes it all worth it.
It was the philosopher Seneca that said “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” This week, I pick up the keys to my new office. As I slide in they key and hear the lock click open I will be greeted with nervous butterflies and a sense of excitement and anticipation for the future and what it will hold.
Goodbyes will always be hard but new beginnings are always exciting!
Go out into the world and make your day incredible!