packing it in

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone or about gone. At least that’s what the song says. Feels that way to me.  Last week friends in the Copy/Creative Department at work surprised me with a going away party. And I didn’t really realize what a great group of people I’m blessed to work with until I’m about to leave.

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The President of the company spilled the beans, kind of.  “I have an appointment, so I’ll miss your party,” he said. “What party?” I asked. Silence.

So I knew something was up. But I figured they knew I don’t like crowds so it would be a cupcake or two over the desk.  Wrong.  Julie (fellow writer and one who is closest to me in age–we alone can talk about the 60s in first person) urged me to walk with her to the Hub for a snack. We were engaged in conversation when we rounded the corner and came face to face with an lively crowd.

We crashed a meeting, I was about to say, when the meeting turned, people cheered and the festivities began.

At first, flummoxed. Then, definitely Verklempt. What a crowd!  Such a great group of people work in this crazy place. Hard working, kind-hearted, smiling-in-the-face-of-great-stress people who have made work life much easier through some rough times.

Fake catalog covers, depicting me as a native Ecuadoran dressed for folk dancing, adorned poster boards around the room. Publix decorated the chocolate/vanilla cake to match. Spiked punch kept us in great spirits…and the spirits flowed.

Where I work has a bit of craziness about it.  Stress level runs high. Deadlines loom, last minute changes, deadlines still loom, more last minute changes.  I’ve had the privilege of working with many of the same women (mostly) and men for years.  And while I have shown my rather emotional side probably one too many times, I am amazed at the calm many of those I work with demonstrate day after day. I have good points, I know.  Emotions aren’t all bad.  But there is a balance.  And as I am leaving, I’ve got to thinking about what I want to show Katherine … what I want to teach her about living in the world and being a good contributing worker in the world.

Here’s a few things (not a complete list of course)  I’ve learned later than I should have and want to instill in her sooner if possible:

  1. It’s your job. Do it well.  Do it thoroughly.  Don’t wait or decide to let someone else pick up your slack.  It’s not fair.  Not respectful–to them or to you. Truly, if you do it as unto the Lord (as my dad and mom used to say), you’ll be just fine.
  2. Keep perspective. Keep balance. It’s a job. It’s 9-5 or 8-6 but don’t make it much more than that.  It’s not worth it. It’s not your value. It’s a JOB. It’s not rocket science (unless it is rocket science). But it’s Katherine we’re talking about so I’m pretty sure  it’s not.  She’ll be singing not sciencing!
  3. They pay you to do your job, to give them something.  They don’t really owe you anything.  If you don’t expect much, you won’t be disappointed.
  4. Look for satisfaction, praise, value, fulfillment from within yourself.  From your sense of God.  Don’t look for kudos from outside. Find your strength from within.
  5. Be wise.  Be smart.  Be careful  you trust at work. Not everyone who says they have your best interest at heart does.  Look and listen at what people do, not say.  Mama’s not been so wise on this one.
  6. It’s better to risk than not risk.  Better to trust your gut than your head most of the time, at least that has worked for me.
  7. Also, best to listen to what your heart is saying and follow that. You’ll know when it is time to stay or time to leave.  Time to buckle down and learn a thing or two or take off and try something new.
  8. You will always be ok.  You are not alone. You are not on your own. We may not be here but God is. Friends are. Family is. You are loved.

To Katherine, to anyone reading and to myself, I  say if I could do anything over again, I would not be filled with so much self-doubt during my career as a writer. I feel I have lost so much energy, creativity, fun and challenges because I doubted that I could. The fact is, I could have done so many more things I wanted to do but limited myself.  Don’t do that.  I don’t think you will.  You came out of the womb confident that you can do anything.

For some reason the familiarity of doubt was far easier to hold onto than the uncertainty of moving ahead with confidence. Warning:  DO NOT FOLLOW THIS PATH!

Ruminations done for the evening.  I sit at the dining room table with Katherine across the table playing Minecraft, headphones on and rocking to some irritating song and I just hope some of these thoughts of mine get passed on to her in time.

She’s an amazing child with unbelievable talents. Almost eleven, and she’ll be retiring before she knows it. She’s got a lot to learn!

Buenas noches, mis amigos



4 thoughts on “packing it in

  1. Beautiful idea Nancy and great that you can put all the skills you honed in your profession into something wonderful and meaningful – for both you and your daughter! Definitely given my some food for thought as I watch our four year old hurtle through life – thank you.


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