I came across the following bit of prose while attempting to rid myself of excess paper. I'm a little bit of a hoarder when it comes to the printed word; I'm almost in need of an intervention. I didn't write the piece but I've deemed it valuable enough to reprint here.
There is a trick to the Graceful Exit.
It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over -- and let go.
It means leaving what's over without denying its validity or its past importance in our lives.
It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving on, rather than out.
It's hard to recognize that life isn't a holding action, but a process. It's hard to learn that we don't leave the best parts of ourselves behind. We own what we learned back there; the experiences are grafted onto our lives. And when we exit, we can take ourselves along -- quite gracefully.
Thank you Ellen Goodman (whoever you are)