Freedom 55

Yesterday was my last day at work for an organization I’d been with for more than 30 years. I’d counted down to that day for a long time, not wanting to wish time away but eager to move into a phase of my life where I’d have more time. I had charts and checkboxes listing my remaining workdays and meetings, and tidy plans of all my to-do’s to wrap things up.

Time dragged.

Until it didn’t! Tedious waiting swirled into a flurry of goodbyes and the last week was a blur. I haven’t processed it yet – there’ll be a flurry of activity in my journal in the days ahead – but the last few days were overwhelming in ways I wasn’t expecting (because covid), but there were zooms and gifts and masked chats with so many people (and don’t tell the health unit, but hugs too).

I’ll come up with lots of words (with all my new fountain pens and notebooks) to talk about my next fun activities: I got gift certificates for outdoor adventures galore, and check out for exciting professional news. For now, though, I’ll share the goodbye I wrote for our staff newsletter, where I was known as KLo.

Goodbye, TVCC!

I started at TVCC as a naïve young clinician, eager to help everyone and surprised to find myself vaguely unprepared for the real world. I’m leaving now with more wisdom, still getting a buzz from feeling helpful, and confident that no one is ever prepared for the real world, that’s the fun of it. I grew up at TVCC – or at least, I got as grown up as I’m going to get. 😛

I learned that working in an organization trying to be a “world-class facility” was far less fulfilling than one aiming for clients at their best (that’s class). I learned how much more kindness we have in our workplace than others, especially that of the elevator installers as we added the third floor at 779. I did learn some fabulous swear words. The most important lesson was the power of listening, listening for strengths and reflecting those back. I learned to have hard conversations. My teenagers thank you for these life skills (mostly the swear words).

I remember laughter and pranks, shared sadnesses and hugs. I remember the tears of a parent hearing their toddler speak for the first time, both sad and happy tears from others, and magical colleagues boosting kids’ voices and choices. I remember your support as I went through the ups and downs of my own life. I did not remember to remove my “Director of Clowning Around” nametag after Halloween and wore it through a grumpy formal meeting with lots of people in power suits. No one lets me forget that!

Me (young looking white woman with light brown hair) dressed in a clown costume and wearing a nametag.
The name tag is hard to read, but there’s no question who the Director of Clowning Around is.

There is no (short) way to describe everything I appreciate about you. I’m grateful for your unique views and approaches to life. Even when I was frustrated, I was entertained and fascinated by our varied quirks and humanity. Maybe it’s easiest to say, whatever makes you you, that’s what I appreciate most.

I wish all of you well and will be cheering you and TVCC on. I know I’m leaving things in good hands. Reach out if you want to meet up for a coffee or walk or drink or wild adventure. Thank you for the privilege and joy of growing up with you!

xo from KLo

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