October 3, 2018

New Beginnings

by Tom McDonald

New Beginnings

This coming Thursday, April 16, I say good-bye to a career path that stretches back nearly two decades. It seems I can’t keep the pace any longer. I’m dragging my team down when only a year ago I was propelling it forward. It’s time to go.

You know, some things we choose, and some things just happen; but all in all, one’s life can get to be like a cluttered closet. I can stand back from it all now and see what and why and how things happened, and choose again what I would do differently this next time around. I can clean out the closet and decide what to keep and what to toss, because it is as though nothing needs to necessarily carry forward except my love for special people and my most basic principles.

This time there will be no more clever strategies to keep myself on the same path, the way I did with earlier vision setbacks. This is the time to harvest the lessons and blessings of the past, immerse myself in some of that laid-back peace, and–through a mixture of discovery, recovery, and decision-making–build a fresh life organized in new ways and carried forward by new means.

I’m not losing everything by losing a career, or even all those strategic adjustments made to keep it afloat as my eyesight dimmed. I’m glad for every piece of it, but won’t mourn its passing. Every 24 hours the world spins around, and a new day replaces the one before it–no matter what we have, what we do, what we lose, or what we choose. Sometimes what we do is a pain when we do it, but later it is a memory, and all memories are resources if we choose to accept them as such.

I’ve chosen to simply harvest the bounty of the past, assess the lessons I’ve learned, and sow the seeds for a new future. If you have a thankfulness for what you’ve received and a faith that life always has possibilities, there is no reason to fear. Be my witnesses: I’ll see less, but I’ll do more, and give more, and receive more. To me there are only two choices: either you harvest the best from the past, learn from the mistakes, and keep yourself active so that life’s possibilities can be found, or you sink into despair, wither and shrivel, and become a faded memory of whom you once were, and a shadow of whom you ought to be–and you can’t see shadows anymore.

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