I’ve been contemplating transformations a lot lately. There are ones that take time, courage, wisdom and energy to step into–and sometimes we do a dance stepping out of them until we can call them our own. Then there are the ones that are sudden, perhaps because circumstance foists them upon us or we force immediate change. Regardless, transformation can be scary, daunting, invigorating and inspiring…not only us, but those around us.
The other thing that can accompany a transformation is the need to say goodbye. Goodbye to old thoughts, beliefs, and even occasionally people and places that are familiar. One of the misconceptions about “goodbye” is that it is always permanent. Very few of the goodbyes I’ve said have been everlasting (which reminds me, stay tuned for a reunion post at some point), but I’m a big believer in closure, so this too is an important part of the transition process–again, speaking only for me. I guess what eases the grief of a goodbye is knowing that you just never know where life will take you and when paths will cross again.
Here are my favorite ways to say goodbye to people, places and things that are dear to me.
1. A handwritten note
We are in a digital age, for sure, but for certain people and situations, you need to put pen to paper and express yourself the old fashioned way. Also, if words don’t come to you easily, that’s ok… Find a quote from someone wiser than you or me as inspiration–I find Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Shakespeare are good starting points (oh, and recently I found this great slideshow of Shakespearean wisdom to get you started.
Neiman Marcus Shopping Diva Embossed Personalized Stationery (starting at $53, Neiman Marcus)
Monogrammed Bordered Notecards (pictured above– starting at $110 for 50, Neiman Marcus)
2. Time Trackers
One way to show that goodbye isn’t forever is to give a gift that allows your recipient to mark the passage of time, for example: calendars, planners or time pieces. It’s a really nice way to say “until we meet again”…
New Yorker 2013 Desk Diary (pictured above– starting at $10-onsale-Conde Nast Collection)
Zazzle: Create your own calendar (starting at $17.95, zazzle.com)
3. A Personal Recap
This is a more creative venture, but a scrapbook is a fun and incredibly sentimental commemoration. Feeling less adventurous? You can do a framed picture or a series of frames.
Remember when we were younger, and a crush made you–or you made for a crush–a “mix tape” (OK, I’m totally dating myself)? Well, you can do exactly the same thing with your digital music library…chose sentimental tunes that will remind you and and your recipient of days gone by…
Here are directions on how to create a playlist in iTunes.
Sometimes a goodbye is the jumping off point into something wonderful and food and spirits are called to celebrate. Celebrations are important. When we have reason to–DO IT! Good food and drink are wonderful. Especially with people we care about.
I’m a big fan of books… I love to read and I think books can say lots of things. It really depends on what the goodbye is about, but here are some books I’m particularly partial to:
Oh, The Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss
The Artists Way-The Starter Kit, by Julia Cameron
Icarus Deception, by Seth Godin
Great By Choice, by Jim Collins
Lost and Found, by Geneen Roth
Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman
Letter To My Daughter, by Maya Angelou
7. Group signed object
If you’re saying goodbye to a person who is leaving a group–like they are moving away or leaving a job–having the whole bunch sign a meaningful object is always a really nice gesture…and meaningful doesn’t have to be code for expensive. Think about what is thematic to your group. Do you all play softball or bowl? Is happy hour your thing? Have you worked on a project that has a poster (or can you print or make one)?