Congratulations on powering through six months of COVID-19 already!

Thank you for those who showed up on Facebook Live on my birthday.

I can’t tell you how nervous I get when I’m live on camera, or how much fun it is to forgot about my anxiety when we do connect. Plus, I’m all about managing my angst when it comes to being a single person with a holiday. I make everyone around me suffer less that way. So, much gratitude to you for sparking the best birthday ever.

An hour ago, I handed in my final application to retire. It was approved. October 30th, Sixty days from today, I’ll be leaving my position of twenty years. I asked my boss for a Halloween party with distancing at work. Then he reminded me that I asked everyone to dress up two years ago for our first ever Halloween party, but then neglected to dress up myself, leaving him to be the only person showing up for probation work in costume.  Oh, well! It’s the thought that counts, right?

Being close to retirement in probation has reminded me of what I won’t miss.

I won’t miss coming home too tired to write or socialize or talk on the phone.I won’t miss supervising grown-ups, though I’ve supervised some great people. I won’t miss watching the small fraction of those statewide who would rather put more effort into excuses of why they do sub-par work than to actually do the work well. I won’t miss fighting. Fighting with parents. With victims. With courts. With lawyers.

I won’t miss being personally connected to too many suicides and homicides. To hearing the worst stories of child abuse that (surprise! surprise!) produce young people who act out. I won’t miss witnessing how differently justice works for children of color than it does for white people.

But, oh, boy, will I miss the sense of purpose. The work family, dysfunctional bunch that we are, showing up day after day, decade after decade. The calls from young adults, the former probationers who like to check and give us updates. And the never-dull tasks, from mediating family conflicts, performing a supervised urinalysis, making an arrest, preparing and presenting documents to the court. The bear and moose-on-campus alerts in summer. And the seagull rescues we help with since they’ve determined our roof at probation is the perfect place to nest.

I will miss providing training to sharp new employees from around the state. And I will definitely, definitely miss hearing from the brave and funny delinquent teens who have such stories to share with the world, should they choose to.

I’m so ready for what comes next work-wise. My speaking gigs requests are coming in. Courses about to launch. Lead magnets (click on the words lead magnets to see my first- you may find it comes in handy when I write a book you don’t like!) ready to grow my email list.

But I have been so very fortunate to be a public servant and work alongside some exceptional people.

I hope my daughters will one day have a work family like the one I get to grumble about. Just thinking about separating from them is heartbreaking. But then I remember what we’ve all learned recently; thanks to social media, smart phones, and Zoom, we can all stay connected.

Imagine leaving your neighborhood or current job. Are there things you will miss?

 Another Facebook Live soon?  Sign up for my newsletter to get updates. A webinar, free online course, and many other fun things will be dropping within the next 30 days.

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