Bright Ideas: The Art of Saying “Goodbye”

“If it’s difficult to say goodbye, consider your life truly blessed” 

I have quite the heavy heart as I write to you today.  Recently, I feel like I have been bombarded with “goodbyes” in the form of socially distanced school parades.  Teachers dressed in tutus with huge smiles behind their masks; kids beaming out of sunroofs holding messages of appreciation and love.  Quite the bittersweet celebration to behold.

Saying “goodbye” has many meanings across many environments. Whether you are saying goodbye to a job, a friend, a home, a beloved pet or family member; whether it’s for a moment, for the day or for a life-time – there’s quite an art to the gesture.

We have all said goodbye to the “old way” of doing things.  Our greetings have shifted from enormous bear hugs and love pats to awkward 6-feet apart greetings with half-covered faces.  Oh – what I’d give to hug each and every one of you.

Over the last few weeks – we have all said goodbye to the school year.  The crazy, unpredictable, ever-changing year.  The last few months were so long yet so unbearably short.  In an instant the year was over, and we felt robbed of precious time with those we cherish most.  For our little ones, we felt robbed of irreplaceable moments in school. Endless questions swirl our brains. – “Did I do enough?”, “what will they remember from this school year?”  “What will happen next year?”.  While I can’t promise you all of the 3, 4 and 5 year-olds will remember the countless hours of work you put in to create a virtual-world of learning, I can promise you that I will.  I am honored to have been a part of working with the inspirational teachers and dedicated parents in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.  If you take away nothing else from this school year, take away the fact that you stayed present in a time of crisis and you gave all you could give and more to the children and families that relied on you to do so.

In my own life, I’m saying goodbye to one role in my career while moving onto another.  While I am excited for the challenge of a new position and being presented the opportunity to impact even more little lives and families – I reflect on what I’ve learned and how I got here.  I take away the invaluable lessons I’ve learned from all the teachers, children and classrooms I have encountered.  I cannot think of the little souls who have impacted my life without experiencing pure joy. I am honored and humbled to take with me the memories and lessons from each person I have encountered along the way.  Thank you for that. 

When saying goodbye, remember: we are more than our emotions because we have the ability to stay mindful.  Saying goodbye can feel overwhelming.  Reflect on how you are feeling when you say goodbye.  Realize how that person, thing or situation impacted you.  Remember the lessons you learned and teach them to others to honor the memory.

Goodbye for now – I wish you all endless happiness

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think” – Winnie the Pooh

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