Graceful Exits

            “There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’  It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over—and let it go.  It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives.  It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up rather than out.”  So wrote Ellen Goodman, American journalist and syndicated columnist.

            Letting go, exiting gracefully, seems to be a challenge I have never quite mastered, a skill set never fully developed.  I mourn.  I agonize.  I dither.  My mother was fond of saying “Once you’ve made a decision, murder the alternative.” I’m sure she had watched me mourn/agonize/dither enough times just trying to get to a decision, that she was encouraging me to put an end to it. 

            Probably another ‘trick’ to the graceful exit is to recognize what purpose it serves to hang on. When I look at my own process, I see that it gives me the sense of having two (or perhaps more) desired things at once.  Sadly, it deprives me of truly having either (or any).  Case in point:  each year as we are aging, living on our property becomes a little more difficult.  We talk about selling.  We talk about where we might move.  We do very little towards either.  But as long as we remain in place, we have the benefit of being here and the dream of being somewhere else.  However, that means I spend a lot of time not being in the present moment, disrupting the pleasure of living where we are, of truly being present to where I am in this moment of time.

             So my goal today is to pay attention to my life as it is right now, in this place where I am right now.  And when the time comes to move on, may I exit gracefully.

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  A #MondayMoment quote is “Today I will live in the moment…..unless the moment is unpleasant, in which case I will eat a cookie.”  Doesn’t hurt to keep a sense of humor as you practice living in the present moment!  A cookie won’t “fix” anything really.  But should you “need” a cookie and want a new cookie recipe to try, I suggest one I adapted: 

Oatmeal Chip Cookies ¾ c. butter or margarine; 1 c. brown sugar packed firm; ½ white sugar; 1 egg; ¼ c. water; ¼ c. molasses; 1 tsp. vanilla; 2 c. oatmeal; 2 c. flour; 1 t. soda; 1 t. salt; ½ c. chocolate chips; ½ c. butterscotch (or peanut butter) chips; Beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water, molasses and vanilla.  Add remaining ingredients. Drop by rounded tsp. onto greased baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 min. at 350 degrees.    Bon appetit!   

7 thoughts on “Graceful Exits”

  1. Loved your writing especially in light of our talking recently. Enjoy the cookie…and keep me up on the writing possibility that you said would be decided mid April…I think. Thanks for restarting our visits together.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems that graceful exits are more difficult to come by lately – I lost a job I loved (and was very good at) due to the COVID situation; I lost a family relationship for a reason I guess I will never know; I lost a good friend due to political differences. It seems that things end before I am ready for them to go. I have taped this quote to my computer monitor to try to help me focus on the present: “Things won’t get better dwelling on the past. Accept what has happened. Then move forward.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Hope Cafe! I first heard this quote from Ellen Goodman several years ago and recently looked it up as I am trying to make a graceful exit in my life right now. That’s how I came across your post from a year ago. I must say that you hit the nail on the head regarding not enjoying your current life to its fullest because you are already considering/planning/organizing your future life — even though it is not here yet. I am experiencing a lot of disgruntlement and disorganization in my life right now and I realized that a huge part of the reason is that I am ignoring most of my present life while focusing almost entirely on my future life — which might not be coming in the way I thought it would arrive. A bit more effort on my current situation would bring some balance to my days. Your post helped me figure out that out, so thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello there Kate’s Hope Cafe! I first heard this quote from Ellen Goodman several years ago and recently looked it up as I am trying to make a graceful exit in my life right now. That’s how I came across your post from a year ago. I must say that you hit the nail on the head regarding not enjoying your current life to its fullest because you are already considering/planning/organizing your future life — even though it is not here yet. I am experiencing a lot of disgruntlement and disorganization in my life right now and I realized that a huge part of the reason is that I am ignoring most of my present life while focusing almost entirely on my future life — which might not be coming in the way I thought it would arrive. A bit more effort on and enjoyment of my current situation would bring some balance to my days. Your post helped me figure out that out,. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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