Westover: Work life has changed with Covidy, but our relationships with people have remained.

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During the pre-epidemic period, we had a few rituals and ceremonies that distinguished between small and large stages of life. I remember this time two years ago we said goodbye to our dear partner who was moving to a new organization.

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Annoyed by her departure – as a counselor, friend, and desk friend for more than five years – I laughed at her glass of wine, small tapas, and her farewell lunch. She gave me a few items to decorate my desk, including the funny “No” key that I had to press on in my turn. The colorful language shouted “No”. Unfortunately, I can only use it a few times before everyone is sent home from work.

At the end of the day, I helped her put several pairs of shoes into her car. When I returned to the cube, I sat down at her empty table and came to the end of the house. I pushed the “No” button and asked myself: “If Stephanie doesn’t hear, does she really sound?”

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Last week, it was my turn to change and move on. But my journey, like many Covenant-era events, is closed by the present reality. My desk was already empty, wiped from the original “homework” instructions. My work shoes have been stored in a bank trunk at the bottom of a closet that I have not worn for the past 18 months. There was no chance for a group lunch, so I took a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk instead of teas and wine.

Eight years is a long time to stay in one job. To understand the meaning of time flies, I have to look at my daughter’s progress from early to early childhood.

By the time I got to my last group meeting, I was feeling more and more numb. “He was going,” but I did not go anywhere. My favorite song is to lock the laptop and return it for packaging.

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This was the place where I came from in my professional life and where I developed lasting friendships. Should I really drop the model backyard door? I told myself it was for good. I did not want to stand at the party.

But, of course, my colleagues knew me better than I knew myself. When those doubts came, they made me a beautiful virtual card, writing every thought-provoking message I could read again. And soon afterward, they said good-bye to me, saying good-bye to me.

Change is never easy, but if you wait until you are “ready,” you will not go anywhere.

Traps are good. Celebrations are important. But the important thing is the relationship we have with people and the lasting work we do. And I remember that on the last day, COVID did not win those.

That means I’m fine and I open it for lunch.

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