The second ending is a much tougher pill for me to swallow. I met last week with my boss and our Employee Resource Director (I’ve worked with each of them for the bulk of my career in some capacity or other and they are much more than colleagues to me. They are dear friends) to officially share this news with them, not that it was much of a surprise or anything;
My formal workdays have officially come to an end.
That’s very hard for me to even write down. But the reality is, my health just isn’t good enough for me to keep going. In reality, if I were being true to myself, perhaps I would have been wise to do that a few years back. But I so very much love what I have done for a living for close to 30 years now that it has been brutally tough for me to figure out when the right time would be to leave. Now, sadly, that decision is being made for me via a significant decline in my health, thus having to be in the hospital for so long. The folks at work of course would take me back in a heartbeat if I were strong enough, they have been so incredibly supportive of me through this and I feel valued as part of the team, but I just don’t feel like I would be able to do the job justice anymore. It Just plain wouldn’t be fair to me, my family, or my colleagues to keep trying.
I’m sad about this. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and have learned so much these past years that I could never even remember most of it all. It’s been an amazing ride. The folks who live on or near the streets have taught me so much about life, love, gratitude, community, and God. And the people I’ve worked alongside over the years, my colleagues/teammates, have been so kind, generous, educational and supportive to me I wouldn’t know where to begin to say thanks.
I feel privileged for the many things my work life has given me;
-I got to travel all over Canada and much of the world speaking and learning about homelessness.
-I had the honor, along with my team of course, of building the Gateway shelter from scratch.
-I’ve had the gift of learning as much as I could about the business world and then starting a laundry social purpose enterprise which still to this day is changing lives.
-I loved being a founding member of the ‘Vision and Continuity’ (V and C) committee. That was so much fun.
-I got to meet incredible people, do life giving things, have amazing conversations, build life-long friendships, and the list goes on…
I will miss it dearly.
At least most of it:)
I won’t miss day-long meetings.
I won’t miss the mounds of paperwork that never seemed to shrink.
I won’t miss hiring and firing more people than I care to remember.
I won’t miss scraping and scavenging for every dollar needed to run a place.
I won’t miss the dreaded accreditations:)
I won’t miss the phone calls in the middle of the night to go down and deal with a major incident.
I won’t miss the politics.
There’s lots I won’t miss, which will help me see this as a new beginning. Now I will use my energy for my family and for my health and not be stressed about deadlines or time frames. I’m looking forward to that.
My identity for many years has been wrapped up in what I’ve done for a living.
Now it will hopefully move from what I’ve done,
to who and whose I am:
God’s own creation.
God’s own beloved child.
And that’ll be good for my soul.