I have become an expert in saying goodbye.
The first time I became aware of how important it is to learn to say goodbye, quit, cut the ties, etc. was in high school when I broke up with my boyfriend because he refused to go to the prom with me because he was in college and thought it was baby stuff. I was madly in love with him, but in my hidden brain I must have known that the level of his selfishness made a relationship unsustainable. Besides, he wanted to get married instead of my going to college. I was devastated as only a teen can be, but knew it was the right decision. (According to his wife, I was smarter than she!)
The second time is when I walked out of the abortionist’s office, told my mother who offered to raise my unborn baby that she had done her duty, already had five children, was in her fifties, and there were people who were desperate for a child to adopt. I then said (a temporary) goodbye to Baby Boy Murphy. (For those of you who don’t know, we found each other four years ago and love each other a lot, mainly because we look and act alike!)
The next time I broke loose was when, based on a phone call from an unknown person to whom I had been recommended, I accepted a job I knew little about and packed up, left St. Louis where I had grown up, graduated from college and taught school. I moved to Boston to start a career that paid me to travel all over the world, directing tour groups from the US. I was so terrified that I hired a moving company to move every single thing I owned for fear I would panic and return if I were living in a furnished apartment.
I most recently said goodbye to a fabulously exciting love affair, at my age, a rare thing. As hooked as I was, the fellow’s lack of concern when I fell twice in two days, requiring a hospital visit, and his objection to traveling around Europe with me if I took Frankie, an experienced canine traveler, were clear warnings of a disturbing trend. It made me very, very sad, but not sorry.
I’ve quit jobs, left parties, walked out of appointments where I was kept waiting too long with no excuse, stopped reading books in the middle, walked out of movies and Broadway shows, and, in the last few years have learned the incredible value in getting rid of “friends” who aren’t.
Change and travel and starting anew are not in themselves good things (Emily Dickenson never left home). However, those scary decisions have served me well.
And, now I am saying au revoir to Aunt Bossy: Dear Abby on Steroids.
Since Covid, questions have dried up and I have had to beg people for them. Our lives have been curtailed, and we haven’t been up against any problems that didn’t pale in comparison with the state of the universe. It has also become clear to me that almost all human problems boil down to the same issue: Lack of communication with yourself and others. My answers were getting so repetitive. It even bores me.
Recap of answers to problems:
If you don’t really know yourself down deep, you will probably never be happy.
If you are but don’t know you are a superficial twit with bad values, you will probably never be happy.
If you don’t actually produce something all by yourself, you will probably never be happy.
If you don’t look outside yourself to make a contribution of time and effort, you will probably never be happy.
If you don’t value anything beyond money and looks and material objects, you will probably never be happy.
If you aren’t happy, you will take it out on other people.
Telling the truth is a shortcut to being happy.
Learning to love what you have will help you be happy.
Finding joy in tiny, everyday things will help you be happy.
Extending yourself to the world gives you a better chance of being happy.
Taking care of your health gives you a better chance of being happy.
Learning to feel sorry for people who don’t like you is a major step toward being happy.
Learning that being jealous is a waste of time will make you happy. There will always be someone smarter, prettier, richer, younger, more talented and on and on.
Knowing that if someone treats you poorly, you can count on them treating other people like that too, will help you be happy.
My advice is always the same It’s all common sense, good manners and discipline. Most of you can do that all by yourself and don’t need Aunt Bossy to tell you.
I will miss Aunt Bossy, but I know the time is right. The Autumn is my New Year, as well as my favorite season, and a good time for changes. Although it doesn’t begin for a while in the Lowcountry, we in Bozouls are already getting a whiff of it in the air. I’m rested and ready.
I loved being part of the Lowcountry Weekly and give great thanks to Margaret and Jeff Evans for giving me the platform, to Debbi Baker Covington, for illustrating a work ethic that puts me to shame, but also motivates me throughout my life, to the other writers for establishing a high standard for the use of the English language, to the sales and marketing and other staff who make it all happen. I was honored to be a part of such a great team.
And now, I will take a hike with my dog and meet some friends for yet more foie gras and champagne. And I will promise myself that I will clean out the drawers and say goodbye to a whole bunch of stuff that is cluttering up my life. I wouldn’t bet money on that, but it is always good to have a goal.
Love, Peace and Happiness to You All,