To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
 
The last two Enumerator Questionnaires rolled into the office today. NRFU (Non-Response Follow Up) is done.
 
It is bittersweet.
 
Sweet, because this was what we were working towards. All those days reviewing hundreds upon hundreds of EQs. All the evenings when I left late because I was frantically entering information into the Census databases before the system went down at nine o’clock (my nominal ending time).
 
Tonight I left on time. I felt… odd.
 
Bitter, for me, because it threw into sharp relief the transitory nature of this work. It will be done before too long. I will say goodbye to the good people whose company I have come to enjoy so much over these past two months. Work which has been fulfilling will be over.
 
This job has been a godsend. It has let me hear adult voices other than my own; voices full of warmth, humor and intelligence. It has given me common purpose with others.
 
It has let me be part of something larger than myself; something that matters. A job which I originally took on because I desperately needed the money became so much more than that.
 
I have been useful. I have been competent. Through all the many months of unemployment, I had forgotten how satisfying that feels. It soothed a craving in my soul I didn’t even really know I had.
 
And now…
 
Once this is over, it is back to the depressing round of resume after resume being sent out, usually with no evidence that human eyes have ever seen them. Of emptiness. Of loneliness.
 
I am determined to enjoy the next few weeks. If I have to lose this so soon, I will at least have gotten every ounce of benefit it has to offer. And then, its season done, it will become only a memory of a time in my life full of purpose and companionship.
 
I’m going to miss it.
 
 
 
 
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