Last Friday

Texture for artwork and photography from Flypaper Textures

Fist bump. It’s our last Friday. I kiss Gerry goodbye and head out into the unexpectedly snowy morning on my way to work for the final Friday I’ll spend in the office. Next week will be a short one bracketed with a retirement lunch for Gerry on Monday and a retirement celebration for me on Thursday. On Friday the movers will load the moving truck and we’ll begin our next chapter.

The past twelve months have been a time of lasts in my mind. A year ago I was planning my last garden in this place, we enjoyed our last summer on our patio, I cooked my last turkey in this house. More recently we’ve been taking note of the last time the housekeeper will come and planning for the last time we have to make dog food before we head out.

I’ve marked the days by what’s to come: one hundred days until we retire, one more month until we’re home, two weeks and the movers will be here packing. Today: one week until the movers are here to load the truck.

Anticipation. Looking ahead. That’s been the underlying theme over the past year as we’ve made plans and crossed things off of our list and prepared to step into the next phase of our lives. The planner in me has found comfort in marking these milestones, checking them off the list, and seeing progress being made.

But as we prepare to cross over the threshold into the transition I’m looking forward to not looking forward. It’s time to focus more on enjoying and appreciating every moment in this life God has blessed me with.

Since my birthday a couple of weeks ago I’m acutely aware that I’m now the same age my mom was when she died suddenly and that’s an odd feeling. None of us can know the exact number of hours we have been given for this life, and I know I’ve spent too long racing through every day and letting precious and simple moments that will never come again slip by.

Author Shirley Showalter shared her personal goal with readers recently and it struck a strong chord with me. Her life’s mission is to “prepare for the hour of my death by living one good day at a time and to help others do the same.”

In these past couple of weeks as things on my list have been crossed off, as we’ve seen our plans come together, as I’ve started to relax, I’ve sensed a slowing down within me, a desire to “live one good day at a time”.

In a little over a week when we move into our new home I’m sure there will be moments of “our first (fill in the blank) in our new home” but my fervent desire is that I learn to slow down and more fully appreciate every simple moment I’ve been gifted to have in this life.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. It’s great to see the word “firsts” among the listing of “lasts” in this post. You are not stagnating, Linda, but moving on to new frontiers, literally. Cheers as you now stand at the threshold of your next adventure. And safe travels too!

    1. Thanks so much, Marian. Stagnating? Oh no, anything but!

  2. Good luck with your move, Linda. I hope everything goes smoothly. I look forward to reading more after you arrive. Thinking of you at this time of transition.

    1. What a wonderful life mission! I think I will adopt it!

      1. Isn’t it great, Becky?! When we get settled I’m going to print it out and hang it above my desk to remind me of it.

    2. Thanks so much, Christine. Loved the pic you posted of you and your sister laughing, by the way! What a joy!

  3. Hi Linda,
    I hope before you get to the very end of your future planning list, you are finding the joy in being able to plan for the future. Two years ago, when I was told I had 3-4 months to live, planning was a thing of the past.
    Now that I’m still alive, I am enjoying being able to plan for a future event. I just find I don’t plan too far ahead.
    Life is sweet. You’re wise to enjoy each moment!

    1. Gayle, you put everything in perspective for me. You’re right, there is joy to be found in planning for the future too. Life is, indeed, very sweet. Hugs to you my friend.

  4. Best of luck – retirement has been wonderful. I retired almost 5 years ago. I still miss the children I taught but not all the other hassles. I weathered breast cancer and my husband had a sudden quadruple bypass during the first year. Now, we savor every moment and we love never having “have to dos ” every day. My birth daughter found me in September and we have been emailing and preparing for our first phone conversation, taking it slowly as you advised. Safe journey. Mary

    1. Oh Mary, I’m so happy about your reconnection with your daughter! It’s a complicated road, I’m sure, but what a joy to have been able to take the first steps. As for retirement, I expect there will be things–people mostly–I’ll miss too but, like you, there are hassles I’m more than happy to leave behind. My very best wishes to you.

  5. Linda,
    Best of luck and everything to you and Gerry! “…looking forward to not looking forward…” I like this! P.

  6. My dad’s diagnosis of dementia shortly after he retired infused a carpe diem mentality into my life. My mom and I take trips frequently, and I make time to enjoy life now while also planning for the future.

  7. So exciting Linda!
    I’m happy for you in this new phase of life, though disappointed we didn’t meet sooner before your move.
    I know you are a person I would be honored to know more.
    Looking forward to reading about your ‘new beginnings.’

  8. Dear Linda, it’s been nearly a week now since you left your old home and moved to a new home to begin the next part of your journey. I so hope that in the days since that move you have found your most “fervent desire”–“to slow down and more fully appreciate every simple moment I’ve been gifted to have in this life”–being realized. Day by day. Moment by moment. Peace.

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