Two weeks ago the boss was the most forthcoming he’s been about the sale of his business. He’s finally decided to retire. We knew that, but he was vague about just how long it would be. At first he made it sound as though he was testing the buying waters, and then it became clear, he was moving forward with the intent to close sooner rather than later. I thought he’d be working until he was old and gray. I read him wrong. The signs were there; I just failed to see reality for what it was.

Those two weeks past, he asks me to come outside. I don’t think anyone else was even in the office. And he says, “I need you to tidy up the office, get things cleaned up, organized. I’m having a buyer come in tomorrow and this one wants to keep you and T.”

Usually I would reply with a dozen questions, since he has been somewhat evasive about questions regarding the sale. It’s been the great big elephant in the room that we don’t talk about because he’s not ready yet–because there is no deal yet. So I say, okay.

The office isn’t a mess. It’s just that there are certain spots that may appear cluttery, and well, I suppose if you’re trying to impress a potential buyer, best to start off on the right foot; and it gave us a good excuse to get things in better order.

I took it a step further and started going to town tossing out old papers that I mostly likely would not need any longer–papers you hold onto “just in case.” Just in case your boss asks you about this or that several months down the line. Papers that you’re not ready to let go of yet.

I went into a different mindset. I acted as though my last day was near, even though this supposedly wasn’t the case. I decided to take any personal items home: books used for ice breakers, old daily calendars, empty cookie tins. I unstuck all of my post-it notes from my desk, I tossed out old single daily calendar pages that I had accumulated. At the end of the day, I have to admit it felt odd going home with a bag of stuff and a desk area that was so neat and tidy, that it looked foreign to me. It felt as though it really was my last day.

I did leave three things there until there really is a last day. Two glass hearts, one blue like crystal blue waters, the other a pearly white; and One heart made of a grey rock stone, polished smooth. These three hearts fit into the palm of my hand. They sit on the base of my monitor, a source of positive, loving energy. For now, they stay.

There were more closed-door phone calls and meetings. I was briefly introduced to the potential buyer as the boss showed him around our office. There was the beginning of due diligence, and now that brings us to this week, the week that T. and I will interview with these folks. I don’t know exactly how the interviews will go, what will be asked, how things will change, if we’ll be retained. I imagine, as the boss said, they’ll at least keep us for the transition if the deal does indeed go forward. But because things can change just like the snap of a finger, nothing is done until the signatures are planted on the dotted line.

I want to be excited, and at first when the boss told us what he was up to, the idea of it sounded exciting–something new to shake up the stagnation that has seemed to settle over the office. But it’s hard to be excited for the unknown, and yet I do feel a certain restrained excitement at a new chapter, whether it continue here or elsewhere.

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