Closing a Door For the Last Time

Gratitude Growth mindset Respect


Key Point: Many of us daydream about a new door we hope opens; perhaps a relationship, job opportunity, or some other defining experience. I like to think about what it will feel like when I close a door behind me for the last time. This has happened to me numerous times. Without a doubt, these moments have been searingly emotional, both very difficult and deliciously rewarding. Every time that door has closed, it’s been bittersweet and fortunately most have shut with few regrets.

I so painfully and lovingly remember looking at my Dad for the last time as I left his palliative care room. I could feel the heat of the western sun as I slowly closed the door of a successful business that my partner and I had for 10 years. I recall the last elevator down from the tower of a Fortune 50 Company, and many more memories. I do however make a point of literally picturing that door slowly and finally shutting well before it does. If not, I risk leaving unconsciously without my hand on the rudder. I do not want to spend my time in regretful review after it’s too late.

This week, a board member who I genuinely love as a human being, retired. And I was reflecting on why I feel this way towards him and what I’ll miss. He reflects the essence of a man who lived his purpose through plying the land around him. His aged, weathered face is most defined by gleaming eyes that sparkle with insight, infectious humor and twinkle with mischief. His smile and calmness pulls from the perspective of walking the Great Wall of China, viewing the world from the Eiffel Tower. Yet, he is most rooted in the saddle of his quarter horse during calving time on the ranch. This man closed the door, and on our side he left a legacy of sophisticated common sense along with the idea that nothing is sweeter than the ride. He also reminds us that there is NO end, just another door. At every board or committee meeting, he taught me with his questions. He showed me how to use space in conversations. He reminded me that the very best of power of positivity and encouragement. His humbleness was simply overshadowed by wisdom. Thank you Garnet, I only hope one of my doors closes as sweetly as this one. 

Character Moves:

1. Everything ends. Every door closes. Being clear and intentional how your and my doors will finally close is absolutely a statement about who we are, and much less about how others participated or not.

2. Everything also begins. Usually before a door closes for the last time, we have the opportunity to re enter it many times. Thankfully, simply based on our totally fallible humanness, we can define that final door closing based on a trend and culmination of things we do and say. Think ahead and determine how the trend will be your friend when you finally close the door with the organization you are currently with.

Closing sweetly in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: I remember helping one of my best friends move out of his sophomore year college apartment before we both drove back home for the summer. He looked through the window from the outside into his empty place for the last time, and made these stupid “be-boo-be-bop-bee-boo” baby sounds… I’ll never forget that. I remember looking at him being like “WHAT was THAT, dude?” But, I stopped and laughed because it makes complete sense, and it’s hilarious. I still laugh about it. He was saying bye to his “baby” of a place that housed all his experiences from the previous year. To be honest, we still joke about going back and finding some way to hang out at that place again… Needless to say, I’ve done the “be-bop” dumb baby sounds at pretty much every place I’ve lived at since too. I’ve found though, once I walk through that new door, the lighting’s always a little brighter than the place with the closed door.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis