With full retirement imminent, I've been pondering the nature of the friendships I've made at my place of employment. It's a fact that people come into and float out of your life. Sometimes that's okay, but other times it's a sad happening. Sometimes we understand the loss, as when a friend or family member dies. It's those times when they drift away for no apparent reason that weighs on the heart.
I'm no more or less spiritual than anyone else, and I don't wear my beliefs on my sleeve (or t-shirt). The main reason for that is I refuse to be sucked into a debate by individuals who want to "explain" to me how wrong I am.
I don't debate. I know what I know from experience and critical thinking. I may not know everything but I do know that nowhere in the religious texts I've read does it say, "Thou shalt be and act stupid."
There is another thing I do know: God removes people from your life for a reason and he only removes people who are holding you back, not people you need.
Knowing this doesn't mean I don't have questions. My best friend for many, many years moved five states away. Was it me who no longer needed her, or she who no longer needed me? The last time I had any contact with her was in May of this year. The last words out of her mouth were, "I'll call you." I'm still waiting on that call.
Yes, I could call her but there seems to be a perverse streak in my nature that wants to see if this time, she'll follow through on her words. It's not the first time she told me she'd call me and didn't. I'm hurt enough by it I worry I'll unleash bitter words on her if I call her.
As for my on-the-job friends, it's my decision to retire fully so I guess I'm walking away from them. It's up to me to develop ways to stay in touch with them and for them to accept the changes and reciprocate. If they don't, I need to let go.
What I fear - well, fear isn't the exact word. What would sadden me is to reach out to someone I've known for years and get only a cursory response instead of the lively conversation of years past. That's probably inevitable when the glue that held the friendships together is dissolved.
Retirement is my choice so I guess I'm being removed from their lives, at least on a daily basis. Perhaps it is my time to step aside.
I'm impatient to have retirement happen. I feel poised on the edge of new adventures in my writing, life at Holly Tree Manor, and in friendships. My writing has been frozen since my writing partner died. I've tried to remain friends with a group of writers but it's not the same as that one friend who wrote so similarly to me it's difficult to tell who wrote what in those books we co-wrote. We truly clicked and I doubt I'll ever have that again. I'm eager to get to where I have the time to write without having to check my work email every twenty minutes, lose focus, and not be able to pick up the story again.
Sage words we've all heard are, "when one door closes, another opens." It's hard to hold internal panic at bay when you see the door closing but you can't see the opening on the other side. You know where you want the door to lead, but what if it doesn't?
And I suppose if God tells me stepping into my future means removing people from my life, I'll have to go with it and not run after them. It's not my master plan, after all.
The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)