Ciao, Adios…Saying Goodbye

Once I knew that change was on the menu, I started to figure out how I would go about saying goodbye to the amazing and not-so-amazing individuals that have made up my work family over the past 4.5 years.  I also kept in mind that time is not quite my friend in the two-week period, so I knew I had to be confident and make an impact in my goodbyes.

After telling my immediate department and surrounding cube mates, and close, close friends, I moved on to an email to close co-workers who I felt needed to know ASAP.  I had pondered how to go about sharing the news. Saying goodbye is never a really easy thing, after all and I knew that people would want to talk and distract me from work, so I chose for ease with the email. The response has been overwhelming and continues to be so. I’ve been called “the sun” and asked “what are we going to do without you?”. As always, people need validation and so it’s heartwarming to be validated, especially after feeling unappreciated for so long. It just goes to show you that no matter what, even when you believe you aren’t making an impact you are.

Anyhow, my decision on how to say goodbye to my closest came to me suddenly last Tuesday morning-I needed to write cards and letters explaining my appreciation for those who have also helped shape me. I needed to use the skill that I have and recognize so well-communication. I also knew that the only cards that would help me were Quotable Cards, not cards designed or made by me, but cards that I have always used when making a statement; cards so understated, they speak volumes.  Quotable cards are one of my inspirations. I don’t even attempt to do what they do because they do it so well, I just love the way I feel when I use their cards and hope to do the same with mine.

And so I decided that in the 10 days left at the 9-to-5 (as of tomorrow, I have 6), I would give out one card a day to each of my co-workers. My department is only 5 and I have four other co-workers that I work closely with and have developed relationships that are worthy of the written sentiment.

Last week, I gave out these two:

You of course will not see what I wrote inside because that’s too personal. But I’ve decided to share with you photos of each card I give out during the rest of the goodbye process. Naturally, you will not know to whom I gave each card to, but I figured it is always encouraging to read inspiring words.

Oddly enough, writing these cards, even though it has just been two thus far, has been therapeutic. I feel calm and less sad by sharing what makes each person special as it gets closer for me to walk out of the doors of my 9-to-5 and into the next journey of Sara and S2 Stationery and Design.

As I mentioned in my post on Friday, I may be off a bit on writing content as I pack up and shift gears, but I will still stop to share inspiring words. I think as much as it is for me to share these positive notes with my coworkers, it also allows me to leave a piece of my own personality behind, too.


Vision Boards

Unknown to me, I’ve always had vision boards. Always. They started when I was a child and I hung posters up of my favorite celebrities (that doesn’t count as a vision board, but it means that I’ve tried to visualize the things that I want).  Now as I think back to vision boards of the past, I realize that I had a paper vision board years ago. I can remember exactly what it looked like. Try to picture this if you can…a wall by my bed with scraps of my favorite wrapping papers scattered all over the place.  The papers ranged in color, glitter, texture, pattern, thickness, etc. And I loved every piece. I know that when I moved away and parted with my favorite scraps I was sad.

Yet, the vision boards haven’t stopped. Even now, in my bedroom above my desk is a collection of random pieces of magazines, ads that I’ve loved, quotes that have inspired, photos that have taken my breath away. The pictures range from babies and people that I love, to places that I  have been that have a special memory, etc.

I also carry vision boards with me. Okay, maybe these aren’t vision boards, exactly, but I carry clippings of emails, photos, my favorite horoscopes, things that inspire me all the time. I have them in books as markers, I have them in my journal, I have them in my personal planner (yep, I’m old school, no electronic calendar system for me). Whenever I open a book that I’m reading, I see these items and I immediately feel warm and happy. Aware that things are positive, that good things fill my life and most importantly that life is where it should be and where I want it to be.

I’m writing about all of this because earlier this week, I was talking to my coworker and we discussed how over the longer New Year weekend (my company is giving us a 5-day weekend) we’re going to clean up and straighten ourselves for the new year. We’re going to not just clean house physically, but clean ourselves mentally. Of course this goes along the lines of not just my mental health, but I’m going to start planning for the 2011 year of S2. In June, S2 will have been around for two years! It’s crazy to think that when I still feel like I just opened shop a month ago. I plan to do the following:

1. Go through all my papers and rid myself of the things I no longer need.

2. Plan to get my business paper work together for tax purposes, along with personal tax information as well, but I want every receipt ready to go come tax time.

3. Work on putting together my strategy. I’m not saying that I can piece together a business plan in 2 days, but I’m going to FINALLY get that business plan in order. Or at least a rough rough draft of it.

4. Lastly, I’m going to finally work on my signature S2 Stationery item–a piece that is near and dear to my heart and what brought this to fruition.

All BIG plans for five days. I’m aware that this means I can’t just sit around and watch movies during the day, but I don’t intend to leave my house. Nope, nope, nope. I’m going to stay in pajamas and work and maybe watch a movie here and there. I’m going to start 2011 new and ready to face the stationery world and achieve my goals.

With all of this in mind, I will also create my new vision board. I’ve already got some pieces ready to go up. I plan to get some kraft paper so that I can create my vision board on kraft paper and at the end of the vision board’s span, I can roll it up, or fold it and put it in my annual box of mementos.  Currently, I just stick the pieces up on the wall with tape. This means that when I move or have to take something down, pages get torn, or get thin from the removal. Now, though, I will not have to be concerned, thanks to the wonder of kraft paper!

I am incredibly sad to have to take down some of my favorite pieces of design. Even more I’m sadden by the thought that  down will come the photo of Maya Angelou and her “Phenomenal Woman” poem, the Heineken ad that talks about Charisma, etc, but I know that they’ve run their course. They’ve visually offered me something that I’ll never forget–inspiration.  I will always be able to revisit the vision wall, I’m just going to put it in my 2010 box, but I do know this, I will not remove the  photos of my ever classy grandmother and my father, my friends in Paris, nor my Infinite BFF, Mark. Those will stay up; the rest will come down.

As a matter of fact, I’ll take a picture of my wall/vision board now and then in January post a photo of my new and bare vision board for comparison. I will also regularly post pictures of them so you, my readers (if there are any of you out there), can see how they expand and involve.

Here is my current vision board:

For those of you considering the idea of a vision wall/board (which I highly recommend that you do), I share an article that I remember reading many many months ago in Oprah Magazine by her columnist Martha Beck, “What The Heck’s A Vision Board—and How Can It Change Your Life?” I remember reading it and thinking, “wow, what a great idea!” Of course, I didn’t do anything about it, but that’s just because I had yet to realize the connection and the power of my own wall of inspiration.

Do you have a vision board? Have you noticed that these things come true? Share your thoughts and stay tuned for photos of my vision board and my future vision board.