I Won’t “Be Around”…

“This is our fork in the road
Love’s last episode
There’s nowhere to go, oh no
You made your choice
Now it’s up to me
To bow out gracefully
Though you hold the key, but baby

Whenever you call me, I’ll be there
Whenever you want me, I’ll be there
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there
I’ll be around” -The Spinners

I was noodling around with my satellite radio channels when I heard this old Spinners’ song. The lyrics  caught my attention because I try to “be around” for my friends and colleagues. As I prepare to fly overseas to the far east on an assignment that I look forward to for adventure, I realized that I won’t be around for my patients, my students, my colleagues and friends. The friends who are close will always be able to find me as I will keep in touch, largely by e-mail but I am sad to leave many behind that I have come to know in the past few months and years in this place.

The thing about these lyrics that caught my attention was “To bow out gracefully”. My parents have always instilled in my psyche, that it’s always best to take the “high road” when others treat you poorly. I have tried to do this in my personal and professional life. Being able to bow out with grace and respect for others as human beings has served me well. I often find that I feel nothing except pity for those can’t do this.

I don’t apologize for those I have loved, celebrated and appreciated because apologies are not part of my empathic nature. I certainly know that my friendship is not for the faint of heart or for those who lack maturity. I am strong, independent with a tiny streak of adventure thrown in. Most people can’t handle those who are independent. In truth, I don’t show my rare vulnerable areas very often. Now, I won’t show these at all.

As I work on packing up my house, my chihuahua, I am loathe to leave some behind because they have given me much affirmation and joy. I have such rich memories of sheer fun and sharing with a bit of nostalgia. I also have that wonderful rush of starting a new chapter in my life; a chance to practice excellent surgery that I enjoy very much. Still, I hate to say good bye and rarely do. It’s always easier for me to slip away with my memories.

I am also anticipating doing a bit of sailing before I head overseas. I need to be on the water with my thoughts and dreams. Fall sailing in San Francisco is one of life’s small pleasures that is not to be missed. I am robustly healthy, in fantastic physical condition-almost criminal that I can be this fit at my age but I am thankful for my health. With my health, every thing that I do is affirming.

As I leave, I find myself thanking God for those who have shared bits and pieces of their life with me. These bits and pieces have touched my heart and made me smile. They have made me the person that I am today. Yes, I have my mojo, my sense of wonder and my sense of adventure stronger than ever. For this, I ask my friends to forgive me for not saying farewell but understand that I am taking a bit of them with me always as I fly the skies and sail the Pacific.

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