Old Friends & New Beginnings

Mary Scotton
4 min readApr 3, 2023


I’ve cultivated a morning yoga habit (along with drinking that weird mushroom coffee), so please forgive the woo-woo-ness of this post. It’s the season of new beginnings and this post began writing itself during my savasana today, as I realized how many people in my heart are at an inflection point in their careers right now.

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu dancing.

One of my oldest friends is coming up on three years of retirement. She’s been happily filling her days making art and cultivating her garden. Another old friend is “practicing” retirement — experimenting with new structures, interests, and activities. A new friend is “taking a break” after 30 years in tech — no set plans except a lot of self-care and family time. I’m watching all three with a mix of envy and curiosity.

What would you do in their shoes?

Have you considered how you’d spend your days if you weren’t at work (or working on finding your next gig)? Apparently, I’d wander around, poking into little shops, eating baked goods, and riding a rented Citibike.

This weekend, my wife and I stayed overnight at a friend’s place in Brooklyn, taking a practice run for when our high schooler leaves the nest and we can spend our weekends however we like (vs being on-call drivers and chefs). As I wandered, old friends kept popping out of my heart and into my mind: Fiona would love these eggs. I had so much fun in the city with Corinne last fall. I wonder what country Rakia is in this weekend?

Not everyone is retiring — I have younger friends, too! Friends who are mid-career and switching things up. One friend is closing a door (ok, it was slammed in her face, but still) and opening another after 3 months of soul and job-searching. She was coached by a friend who is embarking on the life-altering career move of making a human — she’s about to see what “mat leave” looks like when you’re a solopreneur ( and I’m about to experience what a baby shower looks like when it’s re-imagined as girls-weekend-party-at-the-lake).

My friends’ career transitions have me thinking about what it means to have a career: how we boil the chunks of time down to bullets on our resumes. I’m realizing those bullets represent chunks of time I’ve spent with people, people I still hold in my heart.

Who do you hold in your heart?

Do you remember the people you worked with at your very first job? I do — I only keep in touch with one of them, but if I saw any of the others, my heart would fill with memories of the time we spent together. My heart holds space for people — kinda like that bag Hermione had when they were hunting for Horcruxes — it just gets bigger and bigger as needed. It doesn’t let go of anyone, it just keeps them safe until I see them again.

Ah, but maybe I won’t see them, eh? Too many reminders right now that nothing is certain. Maybe Spring is a good time to do some reaching out & checking in. A quick “hey I was thinking about you” message. No ask. No answer needed. Just letting people know I’m keeping them in my heart. And I’m here if they need me.

Spring is a good time to re-connect with my new friends, too. I’m more than a year and half into my current career chunk, which means I have folks I met at the start who I haven’t talked to in a while. I’m reminded that relationships take work and are work. My weeks include a LOT of meetings. When I meet with people I feel connected to, it’s the best kind of meeting.

Seems that this morning’s yoga practice was reminding me that catching up over virtual coffee (mushroom or regular) with new friends will make my current days better and ensure that years from now, when I’m wandering around new cities, my heart will hold space for them, too.

p.s. These GIFs are from April 2015 when two friends, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, spent a week together talking about (and experiencing) joy. I highly recommend this book that captured that time and their insights: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.



Mary Scotton

Technology industry leader, evangelist, and connector who cultivates inclusive communities. She/her. maryscotton.com