Mauri took this picture of me before my first day of work at Newberg Friends Church. My smile has held up well through 13 years of employment, though the plant my ever-hopeful friend Susan gave me to celebrate my new job wasn’t long for this world. Aging and retirement are inevitable, and we’ll soon reevaluate my level of involvement with office assignments. But having an anniversary gives me the perfect excuse to express my continuing amazement at how lucky I’ve been to love my job all these years! Not everybody looks forward to going to work just as much as they look forward to going home at the end of the day.
A big part of my near-perfect work environment is Denise, whose first day came only a few weeks after mine, the (near) timing of this picture. We’ve grown in our jobs together and have become close friends along with being coworkers. We support each other through our many life changes, illness, and surgeries; celebrate together when our families grow through marriage and/or the arrival of grandchildren. We are so comfortable together and know each other so well that at one point Denise said “it’s like we’re married.” We aren’t a clique; we enjoy friendships with the pastors on our team, who are all wonderful too. But she and I hold down the fort together, and I’m going to miss my office buddy next week while she takes a well-earned vacation. I’ll answer the phone and greet people who come to the office just like she covers some of my tasks when I take time off.
Happy work-a-versary to me, lucky me!