A Letter to my younger self – my last article

As I leave GNAG, there are many things that my younger self would have done well to know. I was moved and inspired by my husband’s recent retirement letter to his younger self and decided to follow his lead. Here we go:

  • The work is fun, challenging and interesting. You will learn that GNAG is all about people and family.
  • You will help raise thousands of children. Some you will teach and many you will learn from. You will hire a number of them and you will even help look after their future children.
  • You will have two of your own and like many, they will make GCC their second home.
  • You will lose both your parents. Your mom early in your career and your dad near the end. You will be grateful for their love and support. They will also remind you that people are counting on you and to always do your very best.
  • At a big GNAG event, your extended family will surprise you by showing up. They will proudly cheer you on from the sidelines.
  • You will meet the Mermaids (a group of women colleagues) and they will become your life-long friends.
  • You will work with the most supportive, dedicated and intelligent board members. You will be in constant awe of the amount of volunteer time they put into this place. They will always have your back and you will feel overwhelmed with gratitude and clueless on how to thank them properly. They become your friends too. Foster those friendships and thank them often.
  • You will meet Paul O’Donnell and he will ask you to dress up in most humiliating costumes and go out in public. He will teach you humility, how to have fun, to be yourself and to love what you do. He too will be a lifer.
  • Clare Davidson-Rogers will be like a sister to you. She will understand you like no other. She is happy when you are happy, she is sad when you are sad. She will take care of you no matter what. In fact, she will take care of everyone.
  • You will work your butt off, and you will make your family volunteer to do everything. They will always be proud of you and slightly annoyed with you for keeping long hours. Thank and hug them often!
  • You will hire and work with the most amazing and creative team who will do just about anything for this community. They take great care of you, each other, and this neighbourhood. They become your second family. Do not take them for granted and celebrate them often.  Each one of them deserves a medal because sometimes you can be a real pain in the neck.
  • People will come and go throughout your career, including those who are very close to you. Some stay in touch, some move on and some pass away. It will be very hard at times. There will be people around you who will help you through the tough times. Accept their help and thank them.
  • You will take on some creative and challenging projects. Some will be a huge success and will continue to evolve and go on for years. Some will be a flop. Stand up, shake it off, learn from your mistakes and move on.
  • You will spend the last two years or so of your career working online. You will see your colleagues, your clients, your friends and your family like they’re on TV. Everybody is working from home and it will be hard. Having a loving and supportive husband and a cute cuddly dog helps a lot. The world stops for a while, restarts and then 

stops again. It’s awful for many – but we get through it.  In fact, we do better than that – GNAG comes out even stronger on the other end.
  • You will consistently submit your monthly Glebe Report article late (including this one). You know the editor will be annoyed even though she is always extremely kind in her reminder emails. Apologies and tell the next ED to do better.
  • One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about retirement was from GNAG Chair and good friend Kate McCartney. I told her GNAG is how I identify myself. It’s what I have been doing for more than half my life. She responded with “now you can start living.” She is right and that is my cue to go.

It has been a great life at GNAG. Thank you for the best ride ever and thank you to those who joined me. I have things to do, places to go, courses to teach and courses to take. I will not be far. GNAG will always be a part of my life.

GNAG news

We are extremely grateful to the government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which helped us through our toughest financial years. CEWS allowed us to keep our staff employed, our doors open and helped us provide essential childcare to our community. Thank you to all of the local politicians for the many years of support in making this a wonderful community in which to live and grow.

Now that provincial safety guidelines for COVID-19 have loosened, Summer Camp Pre- and Post-Care has been reinstated for the first time in two years. Those registered in summer camp can now extend their day from as early as 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. More details can be found at GNAG.ca.

Breakfast Cub and Quest-4-Fun Afterschool Program 2022-23 registration is now open. More info at GNAG.ca.

It has been a great life at GNAG.
Thank you for the best ride ever and thank you to those who joined me.

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