I've now become a parent with a child in college. The day you drive away really is everything it's said to be. The thing about that transition is that as a parent you need to let go - even when you don't want to. And in our associations we need to do that too.
Thoughts on association transitions:
1. When you aren't the president or chairman of an organization anymore, let go. Sometimes leadership means letting someone else lead, and not trying to get reappointed when it's time for new people to try it out;
2. Don't show bad sportsmanship about your predecessor - or the next person. If you watched the relay races in the Olympics, imagine that we're all in a relay race where each of us just runs our best time in our own leg of the race. When you're handed the baton, just take it and run - when the next person gets it, let go of the baton, and wish them well;
3. Many great ideas arrive "before their time" or die a lot sooner than staff who is emotionally and professionally invested in it wants to believe. Association execs also need to learn to let go of programs that are not getting adopted and lack interest by membership.
Cry, dream about the past, wish you had more time, all those things. But let go.