(Editor’s note: Connie’s last “From the Director” article, published in DRTC’s Quarterly Newsletter, September 2019)
Andy Rooney liked to say: “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.”
As my last four months as executive director quickly “roll” by, people regularly ask how I feel about retiring. I reply, “it’s the perfect time,” and it is. I turned 70 in August, but with a sense of humor and rebellion sporting green toe nails and a purple streak in my hair. It’s time for me to focus attention on my family, friends, health, dogs, and newest family member daughter-in-law, Sarah. She is beautiful and smart, and from Connecticut. She and our son, Colin, live in Washington, D.C. (No pressure on having grandchildren, I’ve given them 18 months.)
I’m told retiring is a bittersweet experience, especially when you love your job. Forty years is a long time for my car to head toward Northwest 23rd and Utah each morning. I love to organize so I admit I can’t wait to clean out all my closets! After the closets are clean I’m thinking about designing purses, writing my one great novel, joining a senior River Dance group, teaching a little and, of course, volunteering. I will be volunteering with young special needs children. (Remember I’m a special ed teacher and speech therapist at heart.) If you have a unique type of opportunity for me, I’m happy to hear it, but I have criteria: I can’t start till after 10 a.m., can’t stay longer than four hours, must be given a snack, and there must be restroom “facilities” within three minutes. Lastly, it must be FUN!
I am really seeing a lot more generational differences with my younger staff this last year. My abilities with electronics at this point isn’t even enough to be called remedial. The other day I asked a staff to “hang up your cell phone!” I confessed to them I go for days without taking one single picture with my phone, not one. They looked at me very sympathetically and patted my arm.
My husband, Jim, and I will have been married 30 years this fall. We crossed the “you’re officially old” line recently by buying a new couch with two recliners built into it, adding closed caption on our TV, and starting to donate to PBS. Last month we went to see the play Titanic at Lyric Theatre only to discover at the door it was being performed downtown at the Civic Center, just like the tickets said?!#? (as Jim and I often reflect, two halves do not necessarily make a whole).
This has been an amazing year for Dale Rogers Training Center, and our best fiscal year EVER! Deborah Copeland has fit right back in and is ready to take over the sheriff’s badge the end of December. There are so many great opportunities for the hundreds of folks we serve. How lucky am I to have been in a field I love since college! Past jobs at OSU, New York City, Australia, and Dallas; I’ve loved them all. I will remain at DRTC as a resource for a few months, working on a few part-time projects.
You have to be very intentional as you age, to focus on being grateful and all the “positive” things about retirement and getting older. A friend shared with me recently that one advantage to being older is kidnappers are no longer very interested in you! Likewise, if you’re in a group hostage situation, you are likely to be one of the first to be released!
Here I go, self-laughing once again!
That’s really funny!