Community//

small expectations. BIG JOY!

Unexpected joy found in all the right places.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

On 12/31/2020, I retired from my 40 1/2 year bank job. Don’t get me wrong, that part was a pretty big deal. In other years, when a bank officer retired, there were several festivities, but during a pandemic, plans were squelched, which was completely understandable. There was no disappointment on my part, just complete agreement.

I envisioned that my last day in the office, 12/22/2020, would progress uneventfully. I would simply work and walk out. No fanfare, just a typical, ho-hum-hairy-dog day. I was wrong. Here’s what brought me joy. BIG joy!

  1. During December, the bank organized a card shower, seeing as I was very visible bank-wise, but also community-wise. Three or four cards might dribble in, as fewer people buy cards anymore. Major underestimation! A count hasn’t been tallied, but it has to be over 100! It’s 2021 and they’re still arriving! (Note: I now find joy in colored envelopes! (White ones can mean work is inside of them.)
  2. Mid-morning, last day: the staff trickled into our (closed) lobby, where my desk was located. They social distanced around the oddly quiet room and stared at me. “What’s going on?” I asked. The bank president said some nice words and then presented me with a basket of gifts when I truly expected nothing. Surprise is joyful!
  3. A best friend and former co-worker, Michele, invited me for a last-day lunch. I accepted if we could keep it safe. She carried out fabulous pasta and we sat in a nearby gazebo. It was cold and windy, but sunny and joyfully glorious!
  4. At 5:00 p.m. I entered my home, like every other night. My son and daughter-in-law were on face-time from Louisiana! Four glasses of champagne bubbled on the table, in front of the screen. Balloons and a bouquet also sat on the table. Our daughter, Korey, and her fiancé, Spencer’s 85 pound puppy jumped into a full body hug. There was Korey standing off to the side! They arrived, from Chicago, a day early in order to celebrate my retirement! BIG JOY!

The lesson in all of this for me is that joy bubbled up in unexpected places, because I was honest and realistic about any type of celebration. I’d considered all of the properties of retiring at a time like this and I seriously expected left-over chicken for dinner that night. And a left-over-chicken-kind-of-day would have been just fine, too.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Failure is trendy. Don’t buy the hype.

    by Thad DeVassie
    Community//

    Have you lost connection to yourself?

    by Karen Ramsay-Smith
    Photo: Courtesy of Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles
    Community//

    Joy Donnell is Reclaiming Her Joy as a Reparational Act and Restorative Practice

    by Tabby Biddle
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.