Where’s the “good” in goodbye?


For my first post of 2013, I will steer clear of New-Year’s-resolution-talk (not least because I’m having a hard time with mine) or speculation about what the New Year will bring. One thing that it will predictably bring – like every year – is more goodbyes. Saying goodbye is a process I go through several times a year. I have become quite good at it, but still dread it every single time.
So once again, starting the New Year meant for me, among others, saying goodbye to my hometown, my country, (the sun? J), my family and my friends, old and new. Once more, I wished I didn’t have to go through the torturous procedure, almost invariably the same every time: the tightness in my chest as I leave home converting rapidly into a mild depression during the trip, then two to four days of inconsolable sadness, followed by a gradual healing process that may take one to two weeks, as the routines are re-established and I get so absorbed by the rhythm of my daily life, that it is as if I never left. Even though every time I know that I will be ok in the end – when all that’s left of the sadness is a bittersweet aftertaste of being permanently away from something and someone –I still go through it every time. I wish I didn’t have to, but I also know that is the deal I have made – I and all those others with similar life choices – to live within the cycle of perpetual goodbyes. I’m not complaining.
As I was reading some of last week’s New-Year’s-resolutions-press, something caught my attention. It was the suggestion that, rather than coming up with a list of random resolutions, it makes more sense to think about what matters to me most – who do I want to be, what makes me happy – and make sure I have or do more of that.
One resolution that is always somewhere on my list, ever since I can remember writing them down, is to make a bigger effort to stay in contact with family and friends. Some years I do better and others I do worse; but I keep at it year after year. It is part of who I am and it makes me truly happy.
I want more of that this year as well. More goodbyes, but also more hellos.


  1. I love the title of your post and you have found the perfect conclusion. I, too – over time- have learnt how to say more "hellos" although the goodbyes remain tough especially when you watch your kids saying them to their buddies.
    Love your blog. Regards from Paris. Ingrid

  2. Anonymous

    I stopped making resolutions since I have such a tough time prioritising and deciding what really matters most to me apart from seeing my family & friends healthy and happy.

    What I find really hard is to find enough time and energy to stay in touch and make people around me happy… SO I continue the quest…

    I found a way around "the issue of goodbyes": I programmed myself to believe that it is "see you later". I now find farewell parties just strange but may be I am too programmed now or I am in denial…

    Who knows what 2013 has in store for us?.. let's see ..

    1. You just said what your priority is in your first sentence 🙂
      I like the "see you later" attitude – it has helped a lot so far.

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