SACRAMENTO — Outgoing State Controller Betty Yee posted the following New Year’s message.
In another day, I will be leaving office after serving as California’s Controller for the last eight years, taking my first extended pause over my 38 years of public service. It has been a bittersweet time these past weeks as I prepare to leave my dedicated team of 1,400 women and men who staff the “engine room” of state government and have become known by many Californians as our “fiscal first responders.”
It also has been a time of reflection about the transformative work I seek to do next. However, before I decide what this is, I look forward to the honor of more days to care for Mom as she approaches 100 this coming April, the treasure of more time spent with Steven in our work of tikkun olam, and the gift of being silent in solitude to find clarity of purpose by listening to my inner voice.
As I have been around colleagues, friends, and family these past weeks, two recurring thoughts surface:
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” — Rumi
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” — T. S. Eliot
These thoughts speak to me about our connection to others, our responsibility to others, and our contributions to soothing the pain and despair around us — whether it be a terminally ill loved one, the voiceless immigrant, the unsheltered neighbor, the hungry child, our dying planet.
There is one New Year’s resolution I renew each year — stay connected to others and to self. Holding on and letting go — it is the balance of life that is informed by our connections. Holding on to memories and comforts of the past is natural. Letting go takes courage and trust that what is yet to come will bring new possibilities.
I take my leave from public office with my heart filled with tremendous gratitude and pride in the team alongside whom I have been honored to work. I hold on to our shared memories, and in letting go of my daily experiences with them these past eight years when we have shown up and stepped up each day for the people of California, I am confident the team will continue to soar.
And while proud of what I have been able to accomplish in leading this awesome team (https://www.sco.ca.gov/2022_12summary.html), there is much work still to do, the expression of which awaits another voice.
Happy New Year. May 2023 be a sacred and meaningful time for all to connect.