Closing time

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About this time last year, I was departing on my annual beach trip with the gals to Ocean Isle (OI) in North Carolina. Two things had happened that would influence the trip and inspire my accompanying blog post.

Dr. Maya Angelou had passed. I’d lost my job due to a reduction in force (RIF).

In retrospect, the lyrics from “Closing Time” by Semisonic were appropriate and ironically, they apply a year later as well.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

The blues and blessing of B.B. King

I was lucky to briefly meet the guitar God while attending a marketing conference in Chicago several years ago. After a long session day, a few of us went out for a cocktail and someone knew where he was playing. As I casually leaned against the bar, my intention was to ask for his autograph during his break. All I got out was an awe-inspired mutter, which he gracefully acknowledged with a smile and a few kinds words. Mr. King was a storyteller and a blues master. He influenced and informed many musicians across many different genres. His spectrum of inspiration will live on indefinitely.

The mad, mad world of Mad Men 

I readily acknowledge the blessing of hearing ocean waves crashing as I sipped my scotch during the finale. Yet, I was sad. This brilliant and pioneering AMC series highlighted the ad world in a provocative fashion. The show put a spotlight on gender and race inequity and illuminated how business was done in the 1950s and 1960s. For all of the strong female characters on the show and who they represented, we creative gals in 2015 stand humbly on your shoulders.

Awaiting my new beginning 

No doubt, the RIF decision a year ago came as a surprise to my higher education tenure at UNCG. Yet three days later, I found myself gratefully road tripping to OI as I processed the news and started planning my move to Florida. I never fathomed the journey would still be ongoing a year later, but I remain a stalwart. I am confident the right organizational fit will come along, the house will sell and off I will go to 800+ miles of beaches. God’s timing; patience is a virtue.

Empowering a new beginning

Closing Time and the galsAs we packed our bags to return home, I was insistent on taking a group selfie. Just before we took the picture, some news was shared that stopped me in my footsteps. I won’t go into details, but it was good news and as I raised questions, I found grace to accept a big love gesture. As we wrapped up the selfie photo shoot, I shared my gratitude and was told:

“Pay it forward. This is what friends do.”

Cheers to that. I will gladly honor forward payment.

And here’s to the variety of new beginnings in life that come from some other beginning’s end. They provide ebb and flow, just like God’s pool.

Closing time in Ocean Isle

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Kevin B · at

I love the introspective post. Thank you, and perhaps like many others who read this, I am at a new beginning. I love the way you gracefully embraced The changes in your life, and refused to be paralyzed by then. God’s pool… let’s all take a dip.

    cooldeb · at

    Thank you Kevin! Yes, you are indeed in the midst of a new beginning. I hope you’re thriving. Excited to see what comes next…

Nikki O. Gal · at

It is so true….you never know what might be right around the corner! Miss you!

    cooldeb · at

    you are right Nikki. Many of us are looking, seeking or pursuing many different facets. The corner holds promise!

Theresa · at

You pay it forward every day by your grace and selflessness. You give the world your soul every day. God is watching you and he has you. Love you dear friend!

Mary Michaux · at

What a wonderful beach weekend it was! We have had Girls’ Beach Weekend at least once a year since1999 and Deb has been there most of the time! For her to label this “Closing Time” makes me selfishly sad! Where else will I ever find someone who can travel with me for 3 weeks in Europe and still return as one of my best friends? I know she is so ready to start a new chapter in her life but her departure will be extremely hard! Her tenacity this last year has been very impressive to many and she deserves the best!! To know her is to love her and my prayer is that her dreams will soon come true!!!

    cooldeb · at

    Theresa and Mary – I appreciate your kinds words. Thank you! I’m grateful for your support and readership. I must humbly add that I hope my words belong to others as well. My goal (and hope) was to inspire a ‘keep on keeping on’ mindset for anyone crossing from something or waiting for something new. Stay strong, watch and learn along the way. It’s a journey…

Martha · at

Wow – I just love the comments I’ve read here because it is an open demonstration of the love and friendship felt for Deb. I’ve watched Deb this past year as she went about doing what she knew she had to do. Her goals are steadfast and her patience has been so well grounded in the knowledge that God will provide but it will be His time, not hers. The weekend at Ocean Isle was wonderful and I’m so grateful to be among those forming the wonderful bond of friendship. I’ve enjoyed Deb’s writing style as she reflected on life and the pursuit of happiness!!!!! Good luck will follow!!!

Robert B. · at

Great post. I too was fortunate enough to see BB King at the Birchmere a few years back after he released his last album. At 83, he could barely walk to the stage but once he got there and sat down, he could still play with the best of them. He was a great storyteller and could have shown guys a quarter his age all they could handle about showmanship. I loved how he had a sound that was instantly recognizable and all his own but, also the way he was able to blend it seamlessly whether he was playing with other contemporary blues artists, rockers like U2 or country artists like Randy Travis or Marty Stuart.On a personal note, I hope that God rewards your patience with an adventure greater than you could have ever dreamed. As you noted, all in his time.

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