When I lived in NYC, my friends and I liked to go to a Cuban/Chinese restaurant called La Caridad. It was cheap but very good food, and it had fast service. A long line out the door didn’t deter us; we knew it would move quickly. And there was a reason for that. Now, when my friends and I went out to eat, it was not just to eat but to have long talks. But that didn’t get to happen often at La Caridad. The servers would come by, see the empty plates, and say, “You done. You go.”

Sorry, no image with the lines out the door. When I went looking for an image for the post, I found articles reporting that La Caridad closed last year. Another covid restrictions casualty, I assume. It had been there for 52 years. I lived in NY from 1987-1998.

On the morning after our son James spent his first night in his “big boy bed” — which at first was mattress/box spring on floor without a frame — he hops out of bed around 5AM, comes into our bedroom and announces, “All done sleepin’!” And his Dad responds, “No, you’re not,” and escorts the toddler back to his room and into his bed.

Done. I am not done. Until my last breath is taken on this planet, I am not done here. Unless I become mentally incapacitated before that day comes, I am not done learning, I am not done changing. I am not done being a better person than I was the day before — kinder, more thoughtful, more patient, a better listener, a better communicator. I seek to know more because I want to be a better friend and teacher. Many put the books away — they are done! — after high school or college. I earned my last degree thirty-four years ago. I began teaching and working other jobs before that time. The books are still out. The conversations are still happening. I am still learning. I am not done.

Always learning. Always growing. Never done. Don’t you want to keep learning and growing, too?
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