I work at an agency that runs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We run on Christmas, New Year's and the Fourth of July. I didn't really think what this would mean when I accepted the job nineteen years ago, but it soon became obvious. When it snows and other people are told to stay home we are expected to come to work, because we are essential. When other people curl up in warm beds we get dressed and trudge
through the snow. I came to accept it a long time ago, but I was still grateful to know the end was in sight.
As I seriously thought about retirement in the last year, I could imagine not bringing the same level of responsibility to weather emergencies. My thought was to be retired this summer and with each season I would think thoughts like, "This is my last snowstorm." Just three weeks ago I was thinking that Hurricane Irene was the last hurricane I would deal with at my present job. Ha! There are three things in particular that make for very difficult days at work -- snowstorms, hurricanes and very large meetings that take place at night. In the last ten days we've had all of them. Isn't it ironic?
I've been chewing this over in the last few weeks. If I'd retired...But it was so clear that this was not the path for me. I have a dear friend and colleague who also thought she would retire last summer. We thought we might even do a joint retirement party. But we are still working together and neither of us is quite sure when we will retire. We were given a big responsibility today, one I had hoped not to do. Yes, it was going to be something retirement would give to someone else. This, too, passed to us. I felt that I'd been hit in the head and am still reeling. As we talked and planned this afternoon I expressed my dismay and concern about the project, and ended with, "If we'd retired..." She is a wise woman and her answer was quick, "We are here for a purpose," and she reminded me of several things we would want to do, and will be able to do because we hadn't retired. With her reminder I became grateful for the opportunity, however difficult it will be.
Today's title comes from one of my favorite songs, Rodgers and Hart's, "Isn't it Romantic?" sung by one of my favorite singers, Ella Fitzgerald. There's no real reason to share it, but we never need a reason to enjoy Ella Fitzgerald. Her music makes any day better.
I hope Ella and her music made your day better. Wishes for a sweet weekend!