Closing Time

My husband is closing out a 33-year career in corporate America. He’s not retiring, he’s moving into a new line of creative work of his choosing. Still, it feels like a huge change. He’s been at the same company his entire career and started there when we were still dating. That company has been our home, and his coworkers have been our family, from our wedding day, through the birth of our three kids, through the purchase of our first house, and on through the graduations of our children. It has taken Roger (and sometimes me) to various spots around the world, provided a host of fond memories of holiday parties, summer picnics, camping with our friends, and so much more.

For my husband, it has been not only the place he worked, but the place he grew, following his own curiosity from department to department, product to product, role to role. He’s challenged himself while mentoring others. He started there as a mullet-wearing, barely-out-of-college young man and leaves as a seasoned expert who has watched the company and his industry grow and change. He can be so proud of the work he accomplished there and the many, many people he managed, guided, developed, befriended, and served.

And now we’re skipping toward new adventures. How lucky we are. We are wise enough to realize Roger’s company will move on without him, barely noting his departure, and that’s okay. We have always known we are not our work. We are not our contributions. We are most definitely not our paychecks. We are journeyers and explorers in this wild and crazy life, and we may never know what we really leave behind, just as we don’t know what lies ahead.

Yesterday, I heard the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic, and this line really struck me, “Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end, yeah.”

Yeah is right! As it should be. So, I’m raising a glass today to my hardworking, loyal, dedicated, smart, funny, and oh-so-accomplished husband. Here’s to new beginnings (and new endings) as we journey on!

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