Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hurry up, 2011

October 26, 2010 - with great joy and much anticipation I turned 55!  For the first time in several years I shouted my age from the rooftops.  Reason?  This was the earliest possible date I could retire from IBM.  Yep, 55 yrs old with at least 15 years of service.  This coincided nicely with a call I received last summer.  "Amanda.  This is your Lord.  Go to Honduras.  In January.   Stay until I tell you to return to the US."

And so, tomorrow is my last day at IBM -- 29.5 years! I have loved my time at IBM.  It is truly a great company filled with really smart people who are interesting and, most of the time, a pleasure to work with.  I have done so many different things and learned so much since that day I accidentally got hired.  (Another story for a different blog but to this day I don't know why my first manager offered me a job!)

I cannot wait to move to Honduras to begin my work with The LAMB Institute.  I leave on January 20th, 2011.  I will, of course, be back and forth for visits to my children, my father in Norfolk, VA, Wheeler, and to my friends and parish family at St. David's.   And Billy's law school graduation if I don't forget.  hee hee.

I titled this blog Authenticity because that is one of the real blessings about Honduras.  The concept of authenticity, being loved for one's authentic self, was introduced to me by my former rector, Fr. Paul.  I suppose it was one of those things you don't know you know until someone tells you about it.  He said that I (and we all) deserved to be loved for our authentic selves - not some family, work, societal definition of who we should be.   Frankly, that struck fear in my heart.  Would anyone love me for my authentic self.  Fr. Paul went on to explain that Jesus does.  Phew.

My next thinking about authenticity emerged slowly after several trips to Honduras.  One's job title, make/model of car, size of house, designer wardrobe, etc. mean nothing to the Hondurans.  Conspicuous consumption, out of control materialism, judging based amount of "stuff" is absent.  The Hondurans I have met and worked with respond to you based on who you are - the authentic you.   It is liberating to leave behind all the trappings that are so important here.   Add to that serving the One who loved me first, last, and always...well, a girl couldn't ask for more.

So, off I go to be my authentic self, warts and all!  Stand by, Honduras, here I come!

Hasta Enero!