Well, like the day 14 years ago when she walked into the building, yesterday life changed again when my good friend and co-worker Tina walked out of the building for the last time.
I’m such a horrible pansy about goodbyes — even with people I’m not close to (ridiculously sentimental anymore) but the ones I am, fugetaboutit!
It helps me to remember that life is always in perfect order and I should be really clear that in her shoes, I would do exactly the same thing. She has two young, growing, busy boys that she adores and now has the chance to be a stay-at-home mom. It’s fabulous that she will have so much more time with them. I think I have written here before that working moms — most especially, single, working moms — are some of my heroes. You all, somehow, manage to do it all.
But doing it all, comes with sacrifices and that usually is the sanity of the one doing it! Tina will now have plenty of time to be involved in the boys schooling and sports. She’ll be able to work out everyday, read whole books, cook healthy meals, go out more with her new husband and pursue her art which she is exceptional at. Plus she has a real cool idea for a website business that she is planning on pursuing as well.
When you work with someone so long though suddenly having them gone isn’t an over night adjustment. Tina, bless her heart, had the cube next to mine for 13 of her 14 years. That’s a brave woman! We’ve been through all the big things that inevitably come with life together over those years. She’s years and years younger than I am but none-the-less we both have liked alot of the same kinds of things. Of course we’ve had our conflicts and low moments but they never really lasted long. She said on her goodbye card to me that I had been “a total pain in the arse and way too opinionated” (both completely true — as I’m sure many of you feel as well!) but she loved me anyways. For me she has been a sounding board, a supporter, a co-conspirator, a shoulder to cry on, an inspiration and an incredible talent to have on your team. And I am completely sure I will miss hearing that English accent every morning.
Her husband told me last night over goodbye drinks after work with some of the gang that “we had a good run” and of course he ‘s right. For me, working with Tina added unexpected delights to my life and I’m pretty darn sure, in the big karma of life, I’m part of the reason she ended up moving to the US from her native England. I needed to have her friendship. In her usual generous way, she gave us three months to get things in order at work and got us through a big crisis, before leaving. We’re in a real good place — her replacement already seems like a great selection — and I love that Tina has so many great things she loves in front of her. Of course, we will stay good friends –that’s for life — but given my choice, we’d still be running.