"And I will wait to find
If this will last forever,
And I will pay no mind
When it won't and it won't 'cause it can't,
It just can't.
It's not supposed to."
~'Clarity', John Mayer
On a recent drive with Sandy through an adjoining town I was reminded how much things around me are changing. This is a town we used to visit fairly often. Sandy's nephew used to live out there; he's bi-polar and has isolated himself from the family (including disowning his father through no wrong-doing on his dad's part). Her nephew has no interest in contact and unfortunately we haven't seen him for some time. Sad.
For almost two years I drove Sandy out that way for a night school law clerk course, which she's since finished. Our accountant was in the area, he's moved on. The hobby shop I loved to visit closed a few years ago. It's those things I guess we find so easy to take forgranted at the time that have a way of fading.
This week I'll be saying goodbye to an employee who has become a good friend. They say managers shouldn't become too close to their staff, but after nine years it's hard not to develop a close relationship with someone I can confide in as I have with her. She'll be missed.
At some point in the near future Sandy and I face the prospect of telling our family doctor that we're moving on to someone else. He suffered a stroke a few years ago, which slowed him down but didn't stop him. And while I admire and respect his perseverance, lately I'm questioning his ability to provide thorough care. I hate this feeling because I don't bail on anyone. But when our health is concerned we have to keep our best interests in mind. If we don't, who will?
Amongst all of this is my relationship with my dad. We haven't been close since he and my mom divorced when I was twelve; I began to see how different we are during my teens and despite attempts to reconnect we've been in and out of each other's lives ever since. And although it saddens me I've come to accept that my relationship with him is what it is. I love my father no less than I would if we were closer. I can choose to dwell over this and let it consume me, or find peace with it. I choose to be thankful that he's in my life as he is and cherish those relationships in my life that continue to grow.
So on this night drive home, I started putting all of these things together. All the times that were, that aren't or will soon no longer be. But instead of feeling loss or even nostalgia, a tremendous sense of contentment swept through me. I accept that things in my life will never stay the same, that I'll hold onto what I can but that some things have to slip away. It's an extremely hard lesson to learn, like most people I've always fought against change. I know there will still be many times when I desperately cling to that which threatens to slip away.
Letting go can be very painful. But what I've learned is that if you're living in what was, you're missing out on what is.