Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ellen Goodman---Moving on

As of January 1, 2010, Columnist Ellen Goodman will end her syndicated column. Her last column focuses on the changes she has seen for women in her nearly forty years of reporting and writing.

Ellen Goodman has been my favorite columnist and I have read her columns for almost her entire career. I have often referred to her columns in this blog and will miss her wit, intellect and analysis of events along with her ability to apply what is happening to the individual as well as the world.

I may have posted about this column by Ellen Goodman in this blog earlier. It was published in Reader's Digest many years ago and I have the original clipping on my bulletin board. It appears from her last column above that she has followed her own advice on moving on. We can only hope that she will find another entry after making this exit.

This is the clipping...

There's a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over--and to 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 belieft that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving on, rather than out.

The trick of retiring well may be the trick of living well. 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, back in the dugout or the office. We own what we learned back there. The experiences and the growth are grafted onto our lives. And when we exit, we can take ourselves along---quite gracefully.

Washington Post Writers Group

NOTE ADDED January 1, 2010: I had thought that the article mentioned above was Ellen Goodman's last column. As it turned out, her last column is today. You can read it here. As you can see from my post above and from reading her column today, the words from the clipping that I referred to must have had a great effect on many others. The Graceful Exit clipping has been with me for many years. I know it has seen me through two divorces, a major illness, a career change and the loss of many important family members and friends. It helps one move on.

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