A small tribute to my former coworkers.
My dear friends,
You know those letters or videos that people post when they leave their job, to go out in a big way? I have always secretly wanted to do that. To go out with a bang. To say all the things that have been kept in for however many years. To let no word go unspoken. Well friends, this is my version of that. It might be slightly different than those that go viral, but here it is. Everything I want to say to you. This is everything I’d like to get off my chest.
I’ve been planning this letter for quite some time. I’ve had ideas rolling around in my head for months and months. There are so many things that could be said. Let’s be honest. There are plenty of things I could write about in the “I’m not going to miss this” category, like there would be from any employment, at any company. It was a job, after all, and it is inevitable that there are things that will not be missed upon leaving. But do you know what I came to realize during my immense contemplation over these last few months? Not a single one of those things is worth mentioning.
Not a single one.
I would only like to mention the things that are worth mentioning. And here’s what I decided on. Here it is. Here is everything I would never want to go unspoken.
From the very bottom of my heart, from the deepest, darkest place, thank you.
Thank you for letting me live so much life with you.
Have you ever thought about how many hours we spend together? How many miles we travel together? I did some math. If we average working 3 days per week, 10 hours per day, that means in one year we spend 1,680 hours together per year. That seemed on the low end to me, until I realized that is 70 twenty-four hour days spent together. Now let’s talk miles traveled. Between the sights we all frequent (excluding Anchorage, Albuquerque, and Kennewick), if you assume we frequent each sight fairly evenly, we average 440 miles of travel per day. At 3 days per week that is 1,192 miles per week. That equals 66,752 miles per year. That is enough to travel from the West Coast of the United states all the way to the East Coast AND BACK, 12 times every year. To put that into even more perspective, that is enough to travel the circumference of the entire Earth 2.7 times in one year. That is lot of life, a lot of hours, and a lot of travel together. Obviously these numbers are based on if you are travel staff from Chehalis, traveling to each site with equal frequency, so they might be slightly skewed from some of our realities. But when I calculated these numbers, it gave me a bit of perspective. I have been with PCLI for three and a half years, which means I have essentially spent 245 solid days with you, and circled the globe with you 9.45 times.
Thank you for letting me share all of that life with you.
Sharing that much life together is a rare privilege. When I sat and thought about all of the things that happened and the things that were said during that time, I started to have an overwhelming gratefulness for each one of you and the memories that we’ve made during that time. Thank you for every van ride we have ever shared together. Thank you for surviving every moment stuck in traffic, for finding alternate routes when freeways were shut down, for stopping at rest stops because trying to hold it for 6 hours is unreasonable, for stopping for food because we were all starving, and for every time you’ve driven or gassed up a van. Thank you for every time you’ve given everyone in the van a good laugh because you were snoring or drooling. Thanks for every sing-along to the radio, and for every time you’ve hit the “seek” button to try desperately to find any station that might have a good song we hadn’t already heard 12 times on that drive. And thank you for not passing judgment in those moments where we’ve stopped for food and not realized they didn’t give us any utensils, and we all had to eat our food with our hands. As if salads weren’t difficult enough to eat. Thanks Panera.
Thank you for every laugh shared, every bad joke told, every good joke told, and for all of your courtesy laughs at my horrible jokes. Thank you to all the phantom farters for letting us all have our Sherlock Holmes moments while we tried to determine the culprit. Thank you for every meal shared, every snack and cup of coffee shared, for all the inside jokes, for all the battles over the thermostat in the OR, all the “sad dances” for each canceled surgery, and thank you for sticking together no matter what unreasonable situation we faced. Thank you for every kind word spoken to me, each other, and to each patient, no matter how unreasonable any and all of us were being. Thank you for every time you have gone out of your way to show love and kindness, especially all those times no one else noticed. Thank you for watching all of the sunrises and sunsets together.
The biggest thank you goes to sharing your hearts. Thank you for each conversation that let me see you and the life you live. Thank you for sharing your hearts with me, your lives with me, and your precious time with me. Those are the biggest gifts, and I am humbled to consider how much of those things you all have shared with me.
Thank you for not just being my coworkers. Thank you for becoming my friends and family. Please know that I really do consider you all friends and family, because I shared something so incredibly sacred with all of you. You all became a part of Ayden’s story, and for that I am eternally grateful, completely humbled, and now permanently connected to all of you. Thank you for being a part of her journey. Thank you for all of your love, kindness, for each card written, gift given, flower sent. You were all absolutely truly amazing during this last year, and I am incomprehensibly blessed to have been surrounded by all of you during that time.
For everything over the last three and a half years, during our 9.45 trips around the globe over our solid 245 days together, thank you. Please know that I mean that with every once in me. Thank you.
The final words I would like to leave you with are simple truths that have been taught to me in the worst and best of ways throughout this last year. This may seem repetitious to you, because I’ve said or written them here and there over the last several months, but here they are, one final time. From the bottom of my heart, to yours.
Love each other unconditionally. Be kind when it isn’t convenient. Find the positive in every situation; it’s there, I promise, just look harder. Find joy in everything – joy and its opposites can coexist, so fight to find it and hold onto it with everything in you. Complaining is never worth it, so use your words constructively. Life and everything you know can change in an instant, so truly savor every moment and every being. Have grace for each other – you never know what the person next to you is silently facing. Do not let yourself live with regrets, but live each moment with passionate intentionality, regardless of how meaningless a task or moment might seem. But above all, love and kindness. It really is that simple.
Friends, family. Thank you. I love you all so very much. Know that, remember that. And for the final time, thank you.
With the sincerest of hearts,
PS – A few final notes. Now that I will not be traveling with you each day carrying an absurd amount of string cheese and Figgy Pops, I pass on the responsibility of Snack Mom to Kendra and Noelle. The two of you are now responsible for fending off the hangry. Good luck, it’s a lot of pressure. Cheryl, you win the award for the best jokes. Cheeses of Nazareth. Still gets me every time. It is your responsibility to find and tell jokes and keep the workplace humorous. Everyone, please occasionally mention the words “mind powers” to Kevin when you see him. Someday he will be a believer. You can all blame everything on me now – just say it was my fault. I’ll be the fall guy. It just makes everyone’s life easier from here on out. And finally, if we aren’t already friends on Facebook, please add me. I really do want to stay in touch with all of you!