Yes, I celebrated a birthday recently and am still celebrating! My boss said he’s never seen anyone stretch out a birthday as long as I can. But, hey – it only comes once a year so I enjoy it to the max. I was going to wax eloquent about the passing of another year but decided to keep it simple.
It’s been an interesting year – ups and downs as usual but nothing earth shattering until March & April. That’s when I found out several co-workers were being severanced (we don’t use down-sized anymore). I’ve been at the same company for 30+ years and this happens as it does everywhere in corporate America. But maybe because I’m older and looking at the autumn of my life, this time is different.
I’ve worked with most of the folks for six years and made some lasting friendships. Some were long distance since we’re a global company but nonetheless, we became fast friends. We had meetings twice a year or so and they’d travel to Indy so we got to meet face-to-face and spend time together. Several work in the same building and we shared lunchtimes, discussing life problems and last nights DWTS results. I know their birthdays, kid’s names, favorite foods and drinks. We’d do things outside of work too: Girls Night Out, concerts, movies, holiday parties and volunteer events. Another difficult aspect is that I have to process their ‘termination’ (off-boarding in corporate speak) so yes, it’s hard on those staying behind.
One of them has been a friend for over 30 years – we’ve been through a lot together: divorces, re-marriages, re-locations, kids, grand-kids, health issues (human and animal) but always there when needed even from a distance.
It’s going to be a change knowing they’re not here every day. Yes, I know we can communicate through all kinds of technology, but not being able to see them every day will be different. So, I’ll take a deep breath and put those friendships in another category. It will be an effort but I’ll certainly try to keep in touch ’cause I want to be able to celebrate next year’s birthday with them!