Friday, April 11, 2008

Every new beginning comes with some other beginning's end

Well, I've clocked out, hung up my lab coat for the last time, and retired my Star Trek lunch box. I may have mixed a few metaphors, too, but whatever.
My feelings are a strange brew. For those of you that have been reading for the past couple of months since I turned in my resignation, you know that this has been a time of happiness, sadness, excitement, and trepidation for me. Obviously, it's exciting to think about having the time to do all those things that it seems we never have time to do while we're working so much. I'm looking forward to seeing my parents more often, my sisters, Cousin Shane, friends that I've neglected for so long...and my eyes are opened to so many things in our area that I've never seen, whether it's the art museum at Notre Dame or the little gift shop up the road that sells garden thingies and bird seed. I'm also looking forward to being a better caretaker of our home, and tidying up a bit...or a lot, if truth be told. I've already started thinking of the cleaning I need to do, the little projects I've put off, cleaning the closets, etc. When have I ever looked forward to cleaning? Exactly never, but I am now! Weird. I'll be planting the garden soon, and I'll be able to weed it on a regular basis, rather than trying to do damage control on the occasional nice day that I have off.
I'm very sad to be leaving my friends at the lab. I've enjoyed our conversations so much, whether it's discussions about our jobs, political debates, personal dilemmas and crises, or just plain fun stuff. (A couple of the many phrases I'll never forget, courtesy of Pam's nieces and nephews: "Cry, just cry!" and "You scared my crap!") My pals have kept me on my toes in more ways than just the job. I'm not moving away, so I look forward to keeping in touch with them and seeing them every so often.  
Years ago, I said that if I ever stopped caring about the work that I did, or stopped remembering that there was a patient behind every culture and every test, I would stop doing my job and do something else. It never happened, and I'm so happy that I'm able to leave my job still feeling that dedication to doing quality work and a sense of compassion for our patients. I don't feel that I've  burned any bridges, and our vice-president of the lab, Diane, has told me that they would take me back any time if I wanted to come back. What a great feeling to go out on a high note! 
My trepidation comes from the fact that since I graduated from college, I've worked full time, and for quite a few of those years, I supported myself. It's not easy to give up that feeling of self-sufficiency and the knowledge that I have supported myself. (It's good to know that if worse came to worst, I'm in a profession where I could easily rejoin the workforce.) Giving up that independence is where trust comes into play, because after following the plan that Ken laid out before we got married, we have reached one of our goals, which is to have me stop working. I could never do this without Ken, so thank you from the bottom of my heart, Honey.
Welcome to Beth, Part Two!
As I walked to the last assembly,
There were tears in the back of my eyes,
And I saw all my friends all around me,
They were there to wish me goodbye.

As I stood in a line with my comrades,
I felt such a feeling of pride,
And I forgot all the grief and the hatred inside,
As we sang for the very last time.

Gather 'round, gather 'round,
Everybody gather 'round.
Come and join our last assembly,
Let us smile, wipe away all the frowns.

Gather 'round, gather 'round,
Everybody gather 'round.
As we stood at the last assembly,
All my friends came to wish me goodbye.

Gather 'round, gather 'round,
Everybody gather 'round.
As I stand at the last assembly,
I just can't keep the tears from my eyes.
           "The Last Assembly"
                         The Kinks


buckoclown said...

Cool, I get to be the first comment!  Congratulations on your transition to the next phase.  I look forward to gourmet meals, a well manicured lawn, a shoveled driveway, ironed socks, .... the list goes on :o)

luvrte66 said...

Don't forget ironed underwear.



shrbrisc said...

congratulations girl have fun

orangedoublezero said...

hi beth!

HAPPY RETIREMENT!  i can't believe you finally did it!  oh wait, with you and ken planning things out, i can TOTALLY believe it!  congratulations!  what a great entry today.  i can feel all the emotions you write about.  i love the kinks apropos!  beth part 2 is going to be awesome -- i just know it!

can't wait to see you a little more often, too -- i'm really looking forward to having lunch with you once in a while!  there is a new restaurant around the corner i'm looking forward to trying out sometime!

cousin shane

pchilcoat1 said...

Good luck and God Speed, a little fear after many years of helping and achieving can be expected. But you have new frontiers to explore and conquer. So slap that phaser back on and climb aboard...It now will be a beautiful journey thru the stars.

Paul C

cayasm said...

Congrats on your retirement, although quite a trasition to make I'm sure you'll enjoy it very much.

Have fun


queeniemart said...

See what i mean about your talent in writing? You write this emotional, well written entry and then end it with the perfect lyrics! You need a newspaper column somewhere.
I am glad you loved your job.....i think you will find your life so enriched and so busy very quickly. You have worked hard to get to where you are at in life, enjoy.
If i was able to quit, i would feel guilty but that guilt would soon leave as long as we were able to pay the bills because wow, just image no more punching a time clock!

rdautumnsage said...

I have no doubt you will flourish in whatever environment your in , whether it's the workforce or being home. You love life way too much to let it get stale in any form. Like Ken has said numerous times before, you've earned it hon, sit back and enjoy the ride. I do understand where your coming from..I had a few of those worries myself when I first quit working. I've always been self efficient on so many levels. Ken has your back, your life mate is someone who you can put your trust in. (Hugs) Indigo