In my second week of this new life, I’ve been taking time to reflect on the path I’ve been on and dream about the road ahead. As with any journey, it’s good to learn along the way, so I’ve whittled my past few months into these four lessons:
1. Pack light-Both literally and metaphorically, this is true. It took me a full day to purge all of the files, notes, and documents I didn’t need to bring home from my office. It was good to be able to pass along boxes of documents, email folders, and contacts to those who would now carry on the work I’d begun. Emotionally, I had to “leave it at the door,” so to speak–pick the good memories and the great experience to bring on this new path, and leave the junk behind.
2. Don’t wait until someone moves on to tell them of their value- The notes, emails, lunch conversations,and phone calls from people who I had worked alongside for many years told a different, much more encouraging story of my impact than what I had felt for so long. What kindness and encouragement might we exhibit today that impacts someone else’s future for years to come? How could this positive energy reshape corporate culture?
3. Not everyone will follow along on your journey-There are “work friends” and there are “life friends.” In a flash, you’ll find out who fits in the “work friend” category, and those who move over to “life friend.”. It’s been refreshing–those few who were short time friends did just as expected. But there are so many who jumped the tracks and made it clear that our friendship was not just one of work convenience. God gives us seasons…just like the shift from summer to fall, our friendships and connections change, and life goes on.
4. Lean into God to reshape your identity-When we take time to intentionally step back from the busyness of life, God can do wonders in the stillness. It has not been easy, but in this downtime I have had to acknowledge how much of myself was wrapped up in my work. Who we are is not what we do. Reshaping that focus is a slow, daily process. By surrendering our desire to control the journey, God can open up doors that put us right where He wants us to be.
Have you been on a journey? What lessons are you learning along the way?
To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.~Ralph Waldo Emerson