Sunday, March 27, 2011
My Sunday Feeling
Scripture instructs us that to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven. I realized about a month ago that it was time for me to leave the Board of a local non-profit here in town. I wasn't pissed off at anybody. My resignation wasn't an act of protest concerning any action the Board had taken. On the contrary, I get along with pretty much everybody on the Board and those in the auxiliary support group of young professional folks. Indeed, looking back on it I realized that I had been affiliated with this organization for the better part of my professional career. This was my second tour of duty on the Board. This time it foolishly made me an Officer and I served as Acting President off and on for 2 years and President the last 2. So what happened? Well, as some people say on Facebook about their own relationships, "it's complicated." And I'm still pondering these things in my heart as I type this. Like most guys, I'm not terribly inward directed. I'm not much one for excessive navel gazing. But here goes. If memory serves, it was that noted humanitarian John Lennon who said that life is what happens when you're busy making plans. One day you are rocking blissfully along and then the game changes on you. A best friend dies about the time other things are going "boom!" And so it becomes time to step back, scratch the back of your head and take stock of the situation. And it occurred to that I needed to go. It occurred to me that I didn't have the emotional energy anymore to devote to the position. I started doing the calculus. I was scheduled to leave in June. Everybody that we needed to get rid of is gone. We got through another audit. There's nothing really left to do before the fiscal year ends. So they don't really need me anymore. Well, they certainly don't need someone at the helm who is as blanked out as I am right now. But still, I've done this a long time. I'm identified with this Board and it with me. It's hard to take the overt step to sever the ties with folks you care about even if those ties were soon to be severed by operation of the By-Laws anyway. I believe that it was Dirty Harry who said that a man has got to know his limitations. I think I know myself pretty well. And I know that I have hit the wall. And so, one night last week I poured me a glass of Knob Creek. I put an ice cube in it. And I started typing. I told the Board that my service with them was an honor and a privilege. I told them that I was tired and that I didn't feel up to making decisions much more complicated after 5 than what club to pull out of the bag. And that it was time for me to go. That was about it. I arrived in Jackson early in the afternoon on the day before Hugh's funeral 3 weeks or so ago. My hotel was next door to Millsaps College, where Hugh and Laura both went. And graduated even. So I went for a walk on the campus that day to stretch my legs. Millsaps, like Hendrix, is a Methodist college, although Hendrix is vastly superior. Just kidding. Anyway, after awhile I happened upon a statue of John Wesley on which was inscribed his famous dictum: "Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places that you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can,as long as ever you can." As I have said before, I am not a very good Christian but I am pretty good Methodist. I wondered what Bro. Wesley would think about me quitting on the job as I typed my resignation e-mail last week. I figured he might not approve. Then again, he never ran a goddamn women's shelter either. Point for me. Do all the good you can. As long as you ever can. I didn't do anywhere near that. Whatever was accomplished while I was hanging around had zero to do with me. I mainly had sense enough to stay out of the way of the folks that actually ran things. Because of them I now have the luxury of moving on. It's time for me to go. I took a sip of whiskey. I pushed the send button. And it was OK.