Tonight is Winston-Salem Dash game #70, the end of our Minor League Baseball home season. If you haven’t been following on my Facebook page, my dad will achieve his 70 game streak tonight. Pretty impressive for a 97 year old fan! I teased the team president because Dad will be at more home games this season than he will. I haven’t been to every game—Ron covered for me in a few and my sister’s family took Dad to a couple. But I’ve been there enough to have lots of friends at that ballpark, people I look forward to seeing and exchanging a few words with (hey, I’m busy calling plays for Dad, whenever he isn’t getting hugs and kisses from one of his women friends). So as much as it’s a relief (sorry, Dad) to know that I’ll have a seven month break from being at the ballpark most nights of the week, I’m sad to say “see you next season” to my friends.
The Circle of Life
I’ve never been comfortable with goodbyes. When I leave a long time job, my strategy is to carry on my daily business right up until the last hour, then walk out the door as if I were coming back the next morning. Cowardly of me, right? I’m not in denial. In fact, I’m acutely aware that things will never be the same, that folks who have been a cherished, integral, part of my daily life no longer will be, that many friendships won’t survive the severing of daily proximity. I’ve done this enough times to know that saying goodbyes and pledging to keep in touch and keep things going isn’t going to make that happen. Nope, the old, however much we love parts or all of it, will fall away. And it has to, for the next phase to begin. This exact case is made by Sherwin B. Nuland in How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter—that we age and deteriorate precisely so we can die and make way for the younger, stronger, more capable to have their time in the sun.
Hanging on, letting go
Many years ago, we left New York in our small sailboat, headed for the Virgin Islands via Bermuda. I had been in New York long enough to consider myself a New Yorker—it was my chosen adopted home. I loved the city, being in the investment world, my good friends and extended network that included my fellow swimmers and staff at my Y, the lady who sold me my Wall Street Journal in the morning, and the security guards in my office building. Excited as I was to sail off into the sunset and start a new life, it tore a hole in my heart to give up my entire support system, other than Ron and Phoebe Alice, our boat.
Sailing long distances double-handed is taxing. You’re either on watch or resting up for your next watch. I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands to ponder my loss…except when I was trying to sleep during my time off-watch, down below in my sea berth, getting tossed around by what turned out to be the nastiest weather we would ever experience on a sailing passage. Lying in my berth, I would dream that my office phone was ringing and, try as I might, I couldn’t quite get to it. Of all of the things, longingly remembering a ringing phone was unexpected! Maybe this was my brain’s symbolic shorthand for a severed connection? After all these years, I still remember dreaming of that ringing phone.
We have to give up something, or sometimes everything, for a new uncertain start. The process is similar whether it’s a big, transformative change, like starting a new career or moving to a new home, or a smaller change, like those we experience with the seasons (for those of us who live where there are seasons!). Do you feel a bit wistful when you pack away the shorts and flip-flops and bring out the wool sweaters? That’s the feeling I have, at the end of the baseball season. It’s exciting to contemplate my September sabbatical, time to disconnect, travel, spend time seeing new places. But the new adventure doesn’t come without a bit of sadness at finishing the current phase—baseball, summer—and leaving it behind.
During life’s transitions, we’re faced with new options and choices. Send me a message or give me a call at (336) 701-2612 if you would like a partner to help you navigate your next chapter.
Investment advisor representative of and investment advisory services offered through Garrett Investment Advisors, LLC, a fee-only SEC registered investment advisor. Tel: (910) FEE-ONLY. Fair Winds Financial Advice may offer investment advisory services in the States of North Carolina and Texas and in other jurisdictions where exempted.