This year has been a good year.
Everything was falling into place.
— The girl and I took a nice mother-daughter trip to Walt Disney World.
— The hubby, the boy, the girl and I took a wonderful family vacation to Hawaii (and, yes, I did climb to the top of Diamond Head – not a huge feat for most people, but for an exercise-hater like me, that was huge).
— The boy and I, along with my niece and nephew, went on a cruise to the Bahamas. (They hung out together – I made friends.)
— I had the opportunity to work with both the girl and the boy when they both did separate stints in my office. (Of course, they made me pay for lunch.)
— The hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. (That’s a long time!)
— The girl got an amazing internship out in California for the summer. (I missed her but please don’t tell her: it’ll go to her head.)
— I celebrated 25 years with my company.
And then it happened: I found out my 25 years with the company were over. Just like that. One day I was just going along doing what I do and the next minute I was told that it was going away.
I walked around in a shocked stupor for days — going back and forth between sadness and anger. I had a giant pity party where I comforted myself with ice cream and chocolate (okay, that doesn’t depart much from my regular diet but it was for comfort this time and not just sustenance).
Then it happened: people started reaching out as the news spread. I heard from current and former colleagues alike. They told me how much they’d miss me. They thanked me for my work. And they thanked me for what I did for them. WHAT I DID FOR THEM. I never thought about it in those terms.
Then I started feeling a little bit like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Clarence said.
And then I realized I have a second chance – a second chance to do something else. Not many people get second chances.
What will I do? I’m not sure yet. When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a writer. Maybe it’s time I try that.
Of course I’ll plan more vacations.
And while I finish up my last days at my job, I’ll bask in the kind words of the colleagues I admire so much.
It really is a wonderful life.