A friend has dubbed my 30th (and last) year at Gananda
“The Jacquie Henry Magical Mystery Goodbye Tour”.
RETIREMENT PARTY SPEECH
June 11, 2011
First of all I want to thank Kathy Marlin and Mary Phelan for the inspiration to fit into this dress! Buying it in September and telling everyone about it was good motivation to keep me on track. Although the chocolate drawer was an ever-present temptation….
I wanted to thank so many special people individually – but soon realized that we’d be here forever. Still, I have to say thank you to the library staff I’ve worked with over the years. They deserve your thanks and appreciation. So, please stand up Marilyn Henderson, Kathy Lepkowski, Barb Schmitt, Mary Messinger, Randy Kennard … and my current “partner in crime”…..Kathy Marlin. Please give them all a hearty round of applause for the service they have provided over the years here at Brigadoon.
So, here goes…. Remember … I am a writer, not a speaker…..
I have been coming to school for 59 years. My grandparents sent me to school when I was only four. They were worried about how much time I was spending in the corner tavern they owned, so they convinced the nuns to take me in. School was ALMOST as much fun as hanging around with the drunks. Still…maybe it’s time to graduate now….
There is a school project for some class or another where students interview adults and ask “What song did you listen to when you were growing up that best describes who you are?” I always answered “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. I grew up in the 50s, watching the world on a small black and white TV, and slowly realizing that the world of June Cleaver and Ozzie and Harriet was a lie … even for a relatively privileged little white girl such as myself. And I certainly WAS privileged. I got a chance to see that world change through the 60′s and beyond as African Americans and women gained rights and respect they never had before.
In the 50s and early 60s, there were not many options for women. Teacher, secretary, nurse, librarian….and princess. The princess job market was pretty tight, so I went for librarian.
Good choice. As it turned out, in librarianship I found my “mission from God.” Now I realize that the song that defines who I am and what I have chosen to do with my life is “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan.
I don’t ever want to grow up. From childhood to adolescence to young adulthood, marriage, parenthood, my career and now retirement, I’ve had way too much fun to grow up. Childhood is all about the journey and what we need to learn along the way. Adulthood is the destination, right?. Nirvana. We will be all-wise and all-knowing when we reach that distant shore. How’s that working for all of you? I don’t know about you, but the longer I journey, the further the destination. Children are smarter than adults – they just don’t know it yet. Children actually know the secret of life – they know how to play.
So…let’s not grow up shall we? Let’s ALL continue the journey and never stop laughing and learning. That is one of the things that attracted me to libraries. (Besides the wonderful smell of new books) Libraries never stop either. They change and evolve and add new learning tools …. but they keep on going forever, educating and expanding minds. School does eventually end for children and young adults. But the library is always there to keep that flame of curiosity alive. Libraries are a friendly shore for grown-up children to stop awhile and get their bearings before continuing the never-ending search…the never ending journey. Libraries keep people forever learning …Forever Young. Thank you all for being children with me. It is that spirit of fun that has made everyone at Gananda so special.
After 30 years here, “a change IS gonna come”, and as I graduate at long last, here is my sincere wish for all of you…..
In the words of Bob Dylan….
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
May your hand always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay … forever young
Thank you ALL – colleagues, friends and family – for making this part of the journey SO much fun!
And a special message to my hubby ….
“Honey, I’m home for good. Let the fun begin!!
LM_NET RETIREMENT IDEAS
Thanks SO much to everyone on LM_NET for your input into my retirement quandry. I really appreciate the time you took to help me out. Thank goodness there will be no need to retire from LM_NET! =)
There are MANY great ideas in this list. It will keep me reading and thinking for a long time to come. Not to mention, an excuse to procrstinate cleaning up my file cabinets!
ORIGINAL POST TO LM_NET
I will be retiring in June, and can’t imagine my life without being in charge of a library. Not to mention no kids and teachers every day. I can’t read or travel every minute of the rest of my life.
So….I thought it might help all of us future retirees, if retired LM_Netters tell us where they are channeling their energies now. Or, if retirement is far off on the horizon, where you hope to channel those energies when the time comes.
I will post a hit. Thanks for your ideas!! Thank goodness there will be no need to retire from LM_NET! =)
I had thought I would retire when I was old(er), but health reasons caused me to retire this past June. The whole idea of it scared me–I’d been in the library for 22 years after a 15 year teaching career. And I was passionate about my job. I LOVED being a school librarian. And now, from the other side of The Big Decision, I can say I’m also very happy!
Here are four things I can recommend to you that were a big help to me:
1. I can’t say enough about how a book prepared me to retire and gave me a much more positive outlook. That positive outlook is key to a good retirement. The book is Creating a Successful Retirement: Finding Peace and Purpose by Richard Johnson. Each of 15 chapters begins with a challenge, then gives examples and possible solutions, including ways to rethink and plan, that are a huge help. Chapter 1 asks the same question you did, “How do I redefine myself in a unique way when I am no longer actively engaged in my former work?”
2. Volunteer in school libraries to keep your hand in. It’s the kids you miss most.
3. Sub for librarians if that is an option in surrounding districts.
4. Get thoroughly involved in something you love–gardening, dog training, writing, scrapbooking, cooking. Join a group of like-minded folks and develop a passion for it.
Retirement for me, even though I’ve embarked on a business from home, is like being a college student. You have a lot of freedoms, lots of possiblities to make friends, and much lighter responsibilities. Every day is like a school holiday.
I will also be retiring in June, but my list is getting longer of things to do. Like the old poem of a woman’s work – Laundry on Monday, Mending on Tuesday, Baking on Wednesday, etc, I have created my daily jobs (anticipated!):
Monday for quilting
Tuesday for photography
Wednesday for Cricut (papercrafts)
Thursday for sewing
Friday for reading
Somewhere in between I will try to do exercise, laundry and housecleaning. Then I have my first grandchild (born last month) and a new daughter-in-law as of October 9th. Travel to see them will be added in!!
I do not expect to be bored.
I don’t plan on retiring soon. I am a school librarian for 4 schools in Springfield, IL. In addition to that I have taken on a part time job, 2 evenings a week and every other Saturday, at a local public library. I am loving it! I have met lots of “retired” librarians working there with me. Maybe you might consider it?
I work in the back circulation department and so I get to check in everything that gets returned while I am working. I then check out lots to myself to share with students in my school libraries. It’s a great way to preview books with kids to see if we should purchase them for our school libraries.
Congratulations! You will love retirement. When I first retired, I became very active in our Terry County Historical Commission. I became book chairman and spent 4 dedicated years planning my other activities around getting our 700+ page county book published. It was a very rewarding experience, and I met soooo many people throughout my county that I had not met before. I also learned much colorful history that I did not know about the county where I was born and have lived all my life.
After those 4 dedicated years, I decided it was time to “retire” again, and this time REALLY retire. It’s wonderful to be able to read what you want to read instead of what you feel obligated to read. Also, we enjoy the “good” movies on the big screen, so we love going to the earliest matinees. Usually there are no more than 5 or 6 other people in the theater at that time, so it’s like a private showing! Being able to watch C-Span every morning and the various hearings (not much debating going on though) throughout the day.
It’s nice to hear from the “horses mouth” instead of having my news filtered through television announcers.
I also love being able to post my thoughts in the comments section following articles in our regional and state papers. My “nom de blog” is recognized now, but most don’t really know who I am. I lean left politically, so in this very conservative region, I get plenty of feedback. I love explaining why they are wrong and I am right! I just hope I can persuade some readers to be a bit more broadminded and tolerant.
As much as I enjoyed the library and students and teachers, I *LOVE* retirement! I don’t know how I found time to work!
Oh yes, and GENEAOLOGY! It’s wonderful to spend hours researching and visiting court houses and cemeteries. That also adds to my knowledge of history. I know my ancestors so well now that when I read a historical novel or see a historical movie, I can imagine which of my ancesters were involved and wonder what they thought and did.
Retirement is wonderful! I do miss the kids (a little bit),but after 43 years of the early “rise and shine” I am enjoying going to bed early to read or staying up late watching TV or reading and then getting up in the morning rested and refreshed at whatever time I want.
I did think a lot about what I wanted to do with all that extra time on my hands and decided to look for activities that revolve around my hobbies of quilting, reading, and photography. So I am looking at book clubs to find the right fit. I am volunteering at the International Quilt Study Center that is part of the University of Nebraska and have joined the Quilt Guild and will be involved with some charity quilting activities. I will also join a camera club. I want to get a small to medium-sized dog and do the therapy dog training so I can take the dog to schools and libraries to be read to by students with reading problems. Then when I find time, I hope to work in a part-time job either in a quilt store, a book store or subbing in libraries or maybe working at the public library. Because I lived overseas for 40 years I wanted some international activity and there is a group called Friendship Force International that i joined and I am mentoring a couple of international college students.
So think about your hobbies and how you can expend on that and think about fun things to do that you have wanted to do. There are also classes to take at a community college or nearby university.
I know i had a double whammy with repatriating and facing reverse culture shock (hasn’t really happened because I think I was so ready to move back to the US and also did a lot of reading and thinking about it) and retirement. A friend of mine advised me to write what I thought retirement would like and I think that helped shape my thinking and planning.
I hope this inspires you.
All the best,
I retired from a different sort of job, but I can tell you that I have never had a day without enough to do. I have a business (albeit not a hectic one) and write a weekly column (for two years now, that column, at www.senior-spectrum.com/umbach — and for a while before that I wrote an occasional column for Knowledge Quest). My wife retired nearly a year ago (also from a different sort of job, but one with long hours and *quite* enough stress). She has been busy every day since with volunteer activities and more, never looking back. Yep, having planned pretty well, including for ongoing activities, it has been very good.
Feel free to quote in a HIT.
Retirement is a few years off for me (2015 if I last that long), but my wife and I are thinking and talking about what we want to do. We’re giving serious thought to becoming full-time RV’ers. One thing that we’ve discussed, and not found a solution to, is reading materials. Yes, we’ll have a computer and at least one e-reader, but buying books can get very expensive. There really needs to be some sort of campground library system that would let someone get a book at one campground and return it at another. Obviously, this would be better for fiction than nonfiction books, but perhaps something could be worked out. Any ideas out there?
After 22 years as a SLMS, Mackin is my “gig” now. If you want some other perspectives, you might take a look at the “What’s Next “ (recent) issue of Knowledge Quest (I even contributed to one of the articles!). I still miss the library and the kids but can keep my finger on the library “pulse” (and go to conferences!)
Prepare well and this next part of your life will be just as satisfying as the current. It helps to think of it as “re-firement” — whole new lights to be lit and passions to develop rather than rocking on the porch waiting for death. I wish you all the very best, and hope that someday you will be telling a pre-retiree how much you love your new life.
My friend, a librarian with 22 years experience in a school/public library, has been working for Brodart in Williamsport, PA for about 10 years. She lives nearby so she actually works on site. But she has been urging me to retire and work there as a telecommuter. I live about 4 hours from there. Her name is Ann Wilson. She doesn’t hire people, but could tell you about their policies re part-time work.
Although my retirement is many years away, many times I make the comment, “that’s a retirement job!” I sew/quilt and would love to work in a fabric store. Also, a book store. Volunteer at the local public library. Volunteer at local historic sites and/or museums.
Listen to kids read at school. Sew blankets for Linus (given to foster kids, or kids whose parents are arrested, or kids in hospitals; if you knit or crochet, you could do this also). And, of course, be a Walmart greeter!
This was on the child_lit listserv:
Rakesh Satyal, a wonderful writer I met through PEN (he’s also an editor of adult books at HarperCollins) wrote a novel about his childhood, growing up gay. In response to all the suicides of gay teenagers, he and his publisher are offering free Kindle downloads of his book, BLUE BOY, today only. Please spread the word to anyone who’s interested or could be. The link is here:
I forgot to mention… you are not retiring “from” but retiring “to” the rest of your lift. You will be busy.. if not busier… just now you will be busy doing the things YOU want to do. Be careful not to accept to many volunteer duties that you have no time for yourself.
So many other will have ideas for YOUR time… just remember… you earned it.. it is YOUR time.
I forgot, Jacquie. We also exercise at our wellness center 3 times per week. It’s amazing how regular exercise makes one feel. It has also become a 30-45 min social time.
you could be a board member and advocate for Yes! Grace Rocks, Inc. and co-edit our next book with me!
I already work with the youth (7-12) at church. My husband and I are the 2nd adult in the cabins when we go to camp or a week end retreat. I do all the paper work and mail outs. Keep attendance, make sure that there is a copy of current contact information floating around the church. We also help with Children’s supervision. I am a presence on the play ground and fellowship hall and they know I will call time out.
I plan to be more active in the local genealogical society.
I plan to survey some cemeteries.
I want to visit the areas where my parents and my husband’s parents came from Ala., tenn., ark. NC.
I want Nanna time with the grandkids.
I will be awaiting your collection of ideas about retirement as I am in need of advice. At the end of last school year, I was so wiped out that I couldn’t stand to think of another year. I chose not to return to school to ”take care of Mary,” as two doctors have told me. (I have MS and am doing well, but I needed to get rid of stress and other things). So far I’m subbing a little, but I will appreciate seeing the suggestions you have gathered.
I retired in ’09 and did some sub work in the elem libraries which was fun and rewarding. I also did some volunteer work in the libraries where my friends work…great. Then I had these back problesms so my retirement efforts are on healing and getting back up to speed. I would love to travel around our state and the country when I am all well and of course read. I want to attend storytelling events too some in VA and of course the big one in TN. I continue to read children’s books as well as those for the grown up.
I think you will have a grand time and you will have lots of options.
Thanks for all your contributions to lmnet…this is a great group.
I am planning to get a part-time job! That is what my husband, a teacher who retired after 37 years, did. He works part-time at the local university (for peanuts) teaching research and science methods and then supervises science students (one year masters of arts in teaching program) in the field. He also does more around the house, is more active in the church and choral society than he had time for while working, does more yard work (which he loves) and plays golf during the season. He was someone who checked math and science papers every night at the dining room table about 5 nights a week. That gives me hope that I will find something to do where I can make a contribution (probably, again, for peanuts) and have no work in the evenings. This is my 35th year and we are on our third set of library standards (in the last ten years) and it is the lesson plans that will someday do me in. I love what I do, but in a small school I do so much of everything and anything (some of which I took on so that I would have something to do at the dining room table and some because it just needs to get done) that I am starting to get tired. But I am planning to go to 40 years, if all goes well.
I know we chatted before – but – I, too, have real anxiety about losing my student/teacher connections! I passed up early retirement in July, and plan to stay 3 (or more?) years.
Besides my full day, I teach 2 inservice classes per year, will be teaching a SUNY Cortland grad class in the spring, write reviews and articles for SLJ, judge for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year, and host an SU intern or local librarian mentee most years.
For most of these activities, they want someone active and employed.
I thought the Cortland gig might lead to a part time gig that would keep me happy in retirement, but they said we want you because you are in the thick of it! We want adjuncts who are in the trenches!!
I can review books, but I couldn’t write one…..
I’m beginning to think I need to pursue something totally outside my experience… My husband said he would like us to move to California and work for our son in his restaurant. (I waitressed all through college and told him it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be!)
I see colleagues who enjoy their first year off, then become stuck in the past, unable to have a conversation without rehashing their career. I vow not to do that.
I would look for something totally different than my expertise. I would help my husband in his airplane FBO business. I used to enjoy washing airplanes and talking to the pilots and their families that would come around. I could keep his books, answer his phone.
Ahhh…..I’m so crazy busy right now, that kind of job sounds heavenly……..
I absolutely know!
My grandchild has spent many weeks in the hospital at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. There were so many kids there wanting something to do. I wandered room to room and read to them. They were overjoyed. That little effort on my part seemed to make a huge difference to them. That is where I will be. The kids would love someone to play video games with. I am terrible, but they begged me, so I did.
I’m sure the elderly would appreciate it just as much.
P.S. I have a sister that is a retired teacher and she is a baby rocker
at a hospital by her home.
When I retire (many years from now…:) I hope to work at a public library. It’s where my career began and I love the philanthropic feel of public libraries. I would love to work at the circulation desk so that I could still interact with people and see what they are reading.
Like you, I cannot imagine my days not spent around books.
Good luck and happy retirement!
I can share my list. It looks like this.
1. Get back to all the hobbies I had to give up for lack of time: scrapbooking, rug hooking, needlepoint, gardening, and sewing
2. Run again for the public library board -Had to resign for lack of time
3. Get more active in IEA-Retired
4. Volunteer at the local animal shelter
5. Volunteer at the local bird sanctuary
6. Run for the township board as a green candidate
7. Volunteer at the public library during their summer reading program
8. Travel more, and not during the summer, when everyone else is traveling
9. Get into culture cooking – Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, regional US, etc.
10. Finally get my house really organized
11. Get more active in my clubs – AAUW, DKG, etc.
12. Go to movies in the middle of the day, and feel really decadent
13. Become a “lady who lunches.”
14. Read, read, read – and read for pleasure, not for work!
For me (can retire in two years), I hope to work on developing a home business helping with computers, and hope to do more writing.
I plan to, in the long off future, when I retire, to do some volunteer work at the local public library. I think it would be fun to still use my skills but not necessarily in the same way that I do now. Either that or I’ve thought about working as a reading volunteer at a hospital. There are a lot of people who end up sick that love a good story and can’t hold a book. I know that when a grandparent was dying of cancer I read the Bible to her everyday and she loved that. Good luck with your retirement and have lots of fun. Just a thought my mother-in-law who retired from teaching after 30 years was afraid that she wouldn’t find anything worth while to do and now we’re lucky to catch her home, she’s involved in so many things such as Red Hats and just getting together with friends.