Leaving Las Vegas

To be honest, the last year at work I did as little as I could.   The lack of motivation was a product of deep dissatisfaction with my job, little interest in the daily tasks, a mind that wandered to other things and too much money coming in.   I got very proficient at doing the least amount of work without getting caught.   So it was somewhat natural that I felt no guilt, when, starting on the Monday I resigned, I began working half days, often leaving for a farewell lunch with some friend or other, capping it off with a couple of beers or glasses of wine.   Lunch was followed by a nap and the gym or a ride.  Then cocktails.   The living was easy.  Everyone should live that life, let me tell ya.

But after my last “day,” things got crazy busy.  Packing up a home of 15 years is no easy task.  15 years of junk.  15 years of stuff.  15 years of memories.   My days began at 7 with coffee and a review of everything that had to be done that day.  Each day was dependent on what was accomplished the previous day.   The hard, absolute deadlines that approached were the movers, the walk-through with my tenant and my departure.   I worked all morning, breaking for another farewell lunch, then worked all afternoon until dinner.  The gym and bike fell by the wayside.   Dinners were with friends, often going late into the night with much drink and celebration.   And the next day I did it all again.  The days were full and rewarding on every level.   I stuck to my moving budget and never felt panicked or behind schedule.  Everything was orchestrated right up until I got in the car Sunday morning and left Matt & Stephen’s for the drive North.   One appointment fell through the cracks but that was it.  I was firing on all cylinders, hitting every step with confidence and purpose.   It was wonderful.

Several things stand out to me about leaving:  Matt and Stephen’s overwhelming hospitality, understanding and help.  Walt and Philip’s generosity and support.   A dinner with Marjorie and Annie when I realized how much worlds collide and how lucky and wonderful connections are.   The genuine and warm 20-year friendship easily picked up with Pattie.  Su and Jill’s gentle shove and cheerleading from the sidelines.   Dale’s tears the last night.   Really too much to recount.   Lots of love and lots of history passing before my eyes.  And an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for these remarkable friendships, gestures and words.

Then I got in an over-loaded Jetta and left at 8 sharp on a gorgeous Sunday morning and headed north.   I popped the CDs Stacey made for me into the player and rock-and-rolled my way North.  I felt very much like I did the day I got in different Volkswagen 24 years prior and drove North to begin my Navy stint.   Only this time, the fear and dread were replaced by joy and love.

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