One of the greatest joys of working is finding the few diamonds in the rough amongst your co-workers...the people that you truly enjoy and would gladly welcome into your personal life. I was fortunate enough to find a couple of those at my current job, and this post is about one of them.
Glinda is a sweetheart. Loving wife. Mother of two. Grandmother of one. She consistently goes out of her way to help people. She once handed me two $25 gift cards and a box of chocolate liqueur candies, just because. She gave her sister an entire living rooms set...the one she had just purchased for her own house. She is raising her grandson. On my last day working in Orlando, she baked the most delicious lasagna I have ever eaten.
I didn't get the opportunity to spend much time with her outside of work, and that was probably my own fault. Although I enjoy spending time with my co-workers, I'm always hesitant to get too close to them. I like to keep it professional, to a fault. I did have the pleasure of having her over for dinner a couple of weeks before the move. TJ made his Paula Deen fried chicken, she brought a bottle of wine, and I just ate and drank to my heart's content. It was a pleasant evening, and I instantly wished that there had been more of them.
My final day in the office, right before she left for the day, Glinda handed me a note. As I read the note, she told me that if I held onto it long enough, maybe one day I would find it when I needed it most, and think of her. I gave her a hug, and tucked the note into my desk calendar. I told her that no matter what, I would find it in August 2010 at the very least.
Living in Northern Virginia has not been the thrill ride I had hoped for. Working from home has its challenges (loneliness chief among them) and I am of course concerned about what I will do once we move overseas. The dogs are having difficulty readjusting to apartment living and bark at the slightest noise in the hallway. TJ works a lot. Traffic is horrible. I miss my friends. I could complain more, but you get the picture. I'm not miserable, but I'm not perky either.
Today was moving day, part deux. When we initially moved in, our two bedroom unit was not available. Today, after three delays, it was finally ready. TJ is out of town on a work retreat, which left the moving chores to me. On what was probably my 20th trip downstairs to the new apartment, I heard a rustle of paper behind me. I looked down and realized that I was carrying my desk calendar. Glinda's note had fallen out...a whole five months early, but just when I needed it. Here is what it said:
"Someday, some time from now, if you happen to come across this note, just remember: enjoy the journey, because what matters the most in life are the memories we create. They are our mental time capsule, so fill it up!"
Glinda's right. When I look back on my time in the Metro DC area, I don't want to remember feeling grumpy, culture shocked, lonely, or out of place. I want to remember feeling happy, excited, loved, and adventurous.
At least I HAVE a job in this troubled economy. The dogs are just trying to protect us. DC offers excellent public transportation. I don't have many friends in the area, but the ones I do have are amazing, and I'm meeting more people all the time. TJ works a lot, but he's doing it for us...and living abroad will of course be the experience of a lifetime.
It's time to start filling up that time capsule. Thanks, Glinda!