The Christmas lights have gone up in the Holt household after a week of cheerios and see you laters at Livingston.
Life goes on, it was the best decision for me and the right time to do it. No regrets and no bad feelings. Lessons in life are sometimes the hardest to take.
But it’s all about leaving a club the same way I arrived, with my head held high, my chest puffed out and with a smile on my face.
I remember the circumstances when I left Norwich for the last time, it was about filling a cardboard box and not having the chance to say my thanks and goodbyes to people who still mean so much to me.
I’ve never forgotten that feeling.
Some circumstances just don’t allow for an easy exit at football clubs but the raw emotion of it is always painful. That’s why I’ll take you inside the Livingston dressing room when I broke the news to the players that I was leaving.
I had planned to come out with a big speech but I couldn’t do it, I would have been too emotional.
I just dropped the bomb on them and told them of my decision and my wish for them to go on and thrive both in their careers and for the rest of the season.
It was a massive thank you to the players for making my time there so enjoyable.
Thank you for giving me their all and hopefully they’ll appreciate what I have given them. I told them to make the most of what is a short career and also to enjoy it.
They were a quiet audience as the news I was telling them was so unexpected, as it was for the club.
Now it’s about recharging the batteries and looking forward.
With Livingston, it’s always going to be positive memories and good times.
In time I will take stock and look back on what’s been an unbelievable journey but I’m big enough and man enough to know when something’s run its course.
In life, as in football, I’ve never been a hanger-on.
There are people who can’t see the signs, they will hang on for grim death to a position but I knew when my time was up.
I always knew when that time had arrived as a player, I knew when it was time to move clubs.
The only club where I let my heart rule my head was Kilmarnock.
When I was there early in my career I just couldn’t face the fact I needed to leave.
The emotional bond I had with Rugby Park was so strong that it clouded my judgement but nothing would have changed that.
When you work in football, there are two certainties.
One is that you will say goodbye to plenty of dressing rooms and the other when you work as a manager is that you’ll get the sack. Very few head coaches are truly regarded as successful these days as the turnover of coaching staff is so high and the first sign of adversity is usually followed by a P45.
Nobody is surprised these days, it’s what we sign up to at the start.
What troubled me most on Thursday was walking into the home dressing room for the last time and having to say goodbye to everyone.
Not just the players but the rest of the staff, who have been phenomenal with me during my time at the club.
It was saying goodbye to the office staff and the chef, everyone I interacted with on a daily basis.
That was the hardest part, but that isn’t unique to football, it’s the same in any walk of life.
Most of us have experienced the mixed emotions of leaving a workplace but for me it’s always about leaving on the terms which I wanted them to be.
How did I feel when I drove home on Thursday? Gutted.
But life goes on and it’s now all about creating another positive chapter in my career.
I loved every single minute of my time at Livi, from the first minute until I left.
So thank you to all and good luck for the future.