My mother, bless her soul, used to say goodbye, good luck and carry on whenever she had enough of someone or some situation. She also said it when she was irritated or angry. Her feet started moving before her mouth could sound out the words. She was off. No one could accuse my mother of lingering when she no longer wanted your company. She was such a character.
A warm and empathic friend to many, she was a master of listening and being able to cheer someone up. Her repertoire of ideas for dinner, holidays, cocktail parties and fancy dress affairs were endless. I think she must have used up most of her listening time slots however when it came to me. Unless I was in dire straits or my life choices were an embarrassment to her, or I had just achieved outstanding success, she just wasn’t that interested in what I had to say and the truth is I always had a lot to say so I often heard the words, “Well, goodbye, good luck and carry on.”
The truth is that many of us don’t know how to complete a relationship well. Most of us let relationships and friendships that no longer serve us dwindle and dissipate into far distant memories leaving the other wondering what happened or is it really over?
Recently a good friend of mine turned 70 and had a beautiful celebratory party. Well I believe it was beautiful, because I wasn’t invited. Truth is I’m not much of a party girl and small talk is one life’s great challenges for me, but I was surprised when I was asked how was Jane’s party, because I had no idea.
As the years pass we are forced to bid a fond farewell to people that we loved dearly in life. It’s a sad but irrefutable fact we will have to say goodbye to more and more people as we age.
Why is it so hard to tell someone that, for whatever reason, we no longer feel this relationship or friendship is fulfilling or nourishing us and to simply thank them for the time when it was and to tell them it’s time to move on. Saying nothing and letting it die a slow uncomfortable death is far more painful. Being up front and loving at the end of any relationship may be challenging but it’s clean and honest and brave.
I confess I have gone on a few dates in the past year or two and have found a refreshing honesty amongst that community. A phone call or a text of appreciation for the coffee, conversation or the walk but a realisation that we are not right for each other. So much better than long uncomfortable silences. I know it’s different with long time friendships but all the more reason to check-in with ourselves and ask why we never had the courage to say it’s over.
Life is impermanent. We all intellectually know that, yet so often we behave as it is never going to end. Friendships end. Partners die. Children start their own life far away from us. Houses grow too big.
It is through ritual that I find endings so much more beautiful than painful. Creating rituals with past clients when a marriage has ended, a miscarriage happened, a job was lost, a friend has disappeared, offers us the opportunity to say goodbye from the heart and in doing so enables us to move forward.
The impermanence of life becomes more and more obvious as we age and for me life has taken on a delicious sense of, if not now so when? And that encompasses everything. Reading, meditating, travelling, concerts and taking my dog for his daily walk. Recently a past friend wrote to me and told me that my joy of life was unbearable for her to be around. She wanted someone who was as pissed off with her family and life and she was. I was so appreciative of her honesty and bade her a fond farewell.
In my 70th year I have started to appreciate the great wisdom of those words
Goodbye good luck and carry on.
Maybe my mother had it right all the time.
To my dear Sharon. I know exactly what you mean. I’m looking so forward to seeing you at my 70th 💝
A reason, a season or a lifetime… I think your mother was right Sharon…
I love that friendship comes in many forms. That regardless of how long a friendship lasts, every friendship has a purpose.This has always helped me when I am surprised a friendship has ended. Reason, Season and a LifetimeDrew Chalker says it so well By: Brian A. “Drew” Chalker People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason,you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on. When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends. LIFETIME, relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway);, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being part of my life…..
I agree Sharon, people change and our lives take twists and turns. Who and what might have been interesting 40 years ago may not be so now. I have made a promise to myself that if I don't feel joy when I see someone's name pop up on my phone when it rings, it is time to consider whether to continue the friendship. I will always be available if anyone needs my help, or my ear as a sounding board, but listening to family stories about people I have never met or ever knew, as if they were my long-lost friends gets time-consuming and boring. Best just to say 'goodbye, good luck, and carry on'. thank you, Leslie.