Counting Down the Hours

There’s a weird new state in life I haven’t felt for nearly fifteen years—the in-between. A major transition is coming, but it’s not quite there. In-between is a hard place to be because work is done, but you’re not done working. There are a few days left before you really leave. The days grow long and the lists grow short. What is one to do?

Thank God for the good.

The day prior to my final day of work at the library, I drove into the parking garage. What came to mind? A prayer of praise. “Thank you, God,” I voiced aloud, “that in all my years of pulling into this garage at all times of the day and even late at night, I never had a scary incident, nor damaged car. Thank you, Lord, for your protection through it all.”

Be willing to let people share their feelings.

I never thought about receiving cards for my retirement, but in the mail on this last week of work, I got a card and gift card from some kind friends. Thoughtful people are still around, and I was deeply touched by this unexpected gift.

I’ve also learned to appreciate some tears from colleagues and friends. These are just as much a gift and blessing as the card. Relationships made in our work or ministry can make an impact for good or evil, and I’m touched when I see the good…even in the tears.

Find little ways to help in the empty moments.

As my to-do lists shrank with each passing day, I found myself doing strange things. After probably six years, I finally moved the rake out of my office! I bought it for the library several years ago to help clean the patio area at about the same time the person most likely to use it left for another job. Needless to say, I never moved it from my office. I realized when going through a few more items with my colleague that its presence was a big unknown to him. This morning I decided it finally needed to go to its rightful spot in a closet.

I also cleaned my stapler. Moved a last bit of furniture about. Gave away plants. Shelved books.

Say thank you to others.

After working in the same place for so many years, there are individuals who become regulars in your day-to-day life. I found that showing appreciation with a card and small gift reminds those who don’t often get recognition that they are seen and important in our world.

Don’t forget to say goodbye.

With my last day before me, I have a mental list of those with whom I want to speak before I leave my keys behind—my staff of course, but also “my” patrons—the people who come in on a regular basis to use our library. I’ve had so many conversations with them over the years, that I cannot leave without a word. My leaving will not affect their lives, but I want them to know that I will be affected by not seeing them.

So, here I go, counting down the hours, thankful for the memories that I’ll carry with me for years to come, and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the lives of others in this unique way for the time the Lord’s allowed.

Grace and Peace

6 thoughts on “Counting Down the Hours

  1. Congratulations on your retirement. I have now been retired for 10 years and love this phase in my life’s journey. Saying goodbye is not easy, missing people you interacted with on a daily basis is normal, but an occasional visit and lunch with them or just an Email or text to keep up the friendships is fun. Enjoy each moment and keep up the good encouragement for all of us readers!!! Love and prayers as you join us retirees!!

  2. Congratulations and thanks for sharing 🙂 ENJOY this next season and all He will walk with you to and through. 🙂

  3. Amazed that it is time for your retirement! How time flies! I wish you the best and time to rest and do more writing. Thank you for your daily comments. May you be blessed greatly.
    With love, Myrtice Owens

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