Today was my last day of work before vacation. I have been exhausted and crabby and not at my absolute best, but this, my last day, was one of grace. It was one of those days where I was just quietly good at my job, solving little problems, preventing big ones. You couldn't tell it if you were there, most things happen so invisibly at the library. But I knew in that way you know things that are true, without fuss, or stridency, or a need to tell anyone. I figured out things other people weren't figuring out. I made things work. I quietly walked away. I'm telling you now, I know. But I don't mean it to say something boastful, though I recognize a small portion of the unavoidability of that. What I really mean is something about the tidy pleasure of all that competency, the satisfaction of being in touch with a place on that level.
During the day our giant check in machine broke, computers were down, and a few things went a little haywire. I told people I was going on vacation for 18 days many many times and that I thought the library was experiencing separation anxiety about my leaving for so long. I meant for that to be, um, playfully self aggrandizing. But all my co-workers seemed to ignore that part. They took it half seriously, or playfully, like why wouldn't that be true. And that was part of the grace today too. Everyone seemed so gentle towards me today, and kind, genuinely kind.
I thought it would be like I lurched painfully to the moment of a desperately needed vacation, but in the end it wasn't like that at all. In the end it was like I was gently released.