I have always struggled with how to close emails. “Sincerely” doesn’t always fit at work (harsh but true), “Best” or “Cheers” don’t seem to fit me or feel pretentious, and “Thanks” isn’t always relevant. My fellow URI alums would appreciate that I came very close to using “Have an excellent”*, but the target audience is simply too small. In recent months, I have settled on “Have a great day” (or evening, depending on when the message is sent), but it never felt complete.
Fast forward to last Monday, and my efforts to contact students using social media after the Marathon blasts. I felt this immense moment of relief as posts started popping up: “I’m okay”, or “I’m fine”. As you might expect, those confirmations were immediately followed by messages of fear or confusion. Further, I knew that those who they were with were inevitably similarly shaken. Without even thinking about it, the answer to all of these messages from our office account was “Glad you’re safe, take care of those around you. ^AM” The last part was so they knew who was writing to them.
Even as we continue our recovery from the terror and frustration of last week’s events, I think I stumbled upon something significant in those uncertain moments. My new signoff is “Have a great day/evening and take care“. I think it fits my personality and what I hope for from our students. I’m the sort of person who wishes for happiness in others, but also yearns for people to just be nice. This latest version of my closing says all of that the best way I know how.