The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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The Start of The Finish

on May 23, 2012

 Today is the last day of school. My kids are excited and looking forward to their summer.  My husband and I are excited also, but for different reasons.  While we enjoy the more relaxed pace of summer we are more excited that we are entering our season of “lasts.”   Today was the last day, ever, I had to deal with the traffic at the Junior High. (This is cause for a victory dance, trust me!) This will be our last summer in this house.  Our oldest daughter is officially entering her last year of high school. (As of 10:30am CST – she’s a senior.)  We’ve purchased our last show choir dress from this school district.  While we are excited for our future and sometimes anxious for it to get here, I have recently realized that there is some melancholy mixed in.

Last Wednesday was the celebration award night for our midweek children’s ministries at church. I stood up with my little class of 1st & 2nd grade girls and presented them with their certificates of achievement.  We’ve had a fun year but it is time for a summer break.  It didn’t really occur to me until we were driving home that night that I had just participated in my final award night.  With our daughter’s senior year and preparing to move I knew I wouldn’t be able to devote the time and energy to teach the class well, so I had informed the ministry leader that I was stepping down at the end of this school year.  It’s the end of the school year.  I have been teaching the same age group of girls every Wednesday night during the school year for the last 11 years.  Girls who I had as 2nd graders the first year I taught graduated from High School this month.  Teaching “my Prims” has become part of who I am and now it is ending.  I know that it is time for this particular season of my life to end, but I am still a little sad.

When we moved to this town we had a 3-5 year plan.  I didn’t want to move here. I was quite content with where we were and IF we were gong to move I wanted to move back to the area where I grew up and my family lives. I was not interested in here.  My husband assured me that this was just the next step in the company he was working for at the time and we would only be here a short period so I grudgingly moved here.  That day was 13 years ago almost to today.  You see: life happens.  Things change.  We ended up staying and somehow this town which I dreaded moving to has become home.  We have friends. Our kids have friends.  We love the house that we rented with the thought of only living here for 5 years at the most. I’m excited to move into a new house, but I’m going to miss this one. Over the last 13 years we’ve turned it into our home.  The place we’ve raised our kids. The place we’ve lived the longest. Even though we don’t actually own it: it’s our house. I’m going to miss it. I going to miss the people I’ve grown to love.  I’m going to miss the familiar feel of the check-out lady at the grocery store knowing my name when she sees me.

I’ve been working on some beginning of summer things at work these past few weeks and it suddenly occurred to me that this will be the last time I do those things to.  I won’t be working here at the beginning of summer next year.  I’ve organized my last set of summer camp registrations.  I’ve typed up my last “Grad Insert” for the bulletin. Printed off my last set of award night certificates.  This job was exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it.  It’s been a “God thing” from the start.  While it’s had its challenges and frustrations, it’s been the exact perfect job for me. It’s comfortable and familiar. I’ve been working this job for so long that many things happen on “auto-pilot” for me.  It occurred to me recently that I’d better start organizing and writing things down for the person following me.  After 12 years at this desk I just automatically know what needs to be done when and who needs to be reminded what and what to do if this isn’t done on time and where we keep things…all that stuff.  The next person isn’t going to have that benefit unless I write it down for her.  It’s a good reminder.

So often we waste all our energy, used up all our rescources, before we can see the finish line, so we end up stumbling across and collapsing on the other side.  We don’t have enough left for that “last kick” to the finish. I don’t want to do that.  My goal is to cross the finish line on this season of our lives well: leaving nothing behind that we regret and feeling we gave everything we had while we were here.  To finish strong.  After all, we start another race when we leave this one.

 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

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