Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Caught up in it all


I have a friend I’ve missed talking to, seeing regularly.  We worked together for many years and probably would have become good friends but I ended up being her manager and you just can’t be friends with people that work for you.  She retired a year ago shortly after her husband died and we promised we’d get together.  We meant it.

But you know it didn’t happen.

I’ve thought of her often, mostly when I’m at work where things remind me of her.  And I’ve pulled out my cell phone to call her and then thought I’d wait till I wasn’t at my desk, maybe at lunch, or before the drive home.  But lunch never happens and by the time I leave I’m so tired I don’t think about anything but the traffic jams waiting for me out on the freeway.

Then this week someone else asked about her, assuming I’d kept in touch, and I made a concerted effort to reach her.  As we talked today I wondered aloud how her retirement was going, what she’d been doing, how life was.  What was new.

She said she’d renewed her library card, read a lot of books, watched a lot of movies, spent time with her grand kids.  Slept.  All good things.

And then her voice broke and stilled.  With a little wobble in her throat she softly mentioned that it had been lonely.  Without her husband of so many years, without her friends at work she’d been lonely.  Oh she didn’t want to start working again, face the traffic in the mornings, the stress of the industry we’re in, but still…

And I felt terrible.  I was supposed to have her over for dinner.  I was supposed to keep in touch.  And I let it go every day, day after day, while I got sucked into the endless funnel of work and life.

And she’d been lonely.

It’s ridiculous.  Me, who knows more than most how short life is, who knows what’s important, let it slide.  She’s someone I care about, someone who makes me laugh, someone who was there for me when things were very very bad.

She was lonely.  Damn.

We’re having dinner early next week, she and I and a few more people from work who have wondered how she is and have missed her.  I can’t wait.  She made me laugh this afternoon in the middle of work craziness.  Even while I was beating myself up.  She’s good like that.

Some lessons have to be learned and relearned.  What’s important are the people, not the profit.  It’s pretty simple really, but oh so hard to follow through.  Lesson learned.



Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

20 thoughts on “Caught up in it all

  1. Don’t beat yourself up – working full time makes it very difficult to follow every good intention.


  2. Be grateful you got the second chance, and reconnected. It doesn’t take much, don’t feel like you have to constantly entertain. Receiving cards in the mail that let her know you care, and that she’s thought of will do more for her spirit than you can imagine.


  3. Sounds like you both needed each other. It can be so hard to stay in touch, when busy life gets in the way. Don’t feel guilty. I think we all pretty much do the best that we can, and your friend understands that.


  4. I bet you will have a pawsome time meeting up with her again.


  5. Good for you for doing it anyway… when you could have continued to not reach out but you did! Awesome and enjoy your moments together.


  6. This is a good lesson for ALL of us, Dawn. Not to let good intentions languish by the roadside, when we can take action. Glad you’ve reached out to this long-ago colleague — you’ll both be blessed by the renewed friendship, I’m betting!!


  7. So very true…we are all so guilty. I am gonna try to do those things I think about but put off.


  8. Sometimes we forget what is really important – work sucks the life and joy out of us sometimes and it is the people we work with that makes it remotely bearable and those friends we need to hold on. She is also a brave woman for sharing that she is lonely – many of us just keep that inside.


  9. Good message


  10. Well that’s sad. She could volunteer some where. My mom works as a hospital volunteer at the hospital gift shop. And she works at the thrift shop that is above an animal shelter. All donations go to keep the animal shelter going. She really likes it. ( it’s volunteer too). She has made good friends and they get together once a week and do something fun.


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