As I sit here looking over my office of the last twenty years, I see bookcases full of professional books and file cabinets full of years worth of files and lots of memorabilia filling the room. And yet when I leave in four short days, I know that what I will take with me, will for the most part fit in a single box. It is amazing how so much of one’s life can be boiled down to its essence. When I leave for the last time, I will take with me a couple of these books and most of the memorabilia, but I will also take with me so much more that doesn’t need a box, the memories.
I have worked twenty years building these memories and over the past year I have revisited them countless times through the stories shared with my clients as I slowly closed this chapter of my career. What has left me grateful is the affirmation that I had touched so many lives along the way. I have been with many of my clients for all of the twenty years in this office and for some, many years beyond that while I worked from home. Through the years I have been privy to many of the events that shaped their lives, graduations, marriages, births and sadly deaths. To know that I was invited into those events leaves me humbled. To be thanked for helping my clients navigate their way through them leaves me honored.
It is strange that all of that history can be crammed into one box. But it is only strange until one realizes it is the “why” we do what we do and not just the “what” we do. When you look at it from that perspective, you realize that the “why” is what creates that sense of accomplishment and pride in what you did and those memories and emotions need no box to be taken home in.
So as I leave my office for the last time, I will take with me one box of stuff and a heart enriched by the memories of the lives I have been honored to be part of.