Beginning the Countdown, er, Journey

Part 1: Looking Ahead to a New Phase in Life

By Patty Pearsall

I have reached that stage in my life where the end is in sight.  Well, at least the end of working full time is in sight.  I actually thought (hoped) it would be this year, but a hitch with service months has pushed it back another year.

Although I have not yet achieved the typical retirement age, I feel ready to move on.

Seriously, I need to retire from full time working just to accommodate my personal life!  My current life is definitely different (busier and more fulfilling) than when I began working.   I don’t mind working and am grateful that I have a job and great coworkers–and most of the time wonderful patrons–but I confess that I am ready to ease back on the work schedule.  I am ready for that long vacation.  I admit I am looking forward to “Every day is a Saturday” syndrome, as one of my retired friends likes to joke.

I am also at the stage of life where some of my colleagues and friends are retiring.  I feel like the youngest child who sees her sibling doing all these enviable things because they are older. 

Then there are those dratted and wonderful technologies, software, and material formats that seem to be changing or springing up every week.  I can grasp some of it, but am amazed at how our Digital Technology Librarian soaks it up, or can watch educational videos and seem to easily understand the technique or concept.  I like to learn new things, but some days it feels like my brain just can’t comprehend this stuff.

This may seem strange, but Algonquin Area Public Library District was my first professional workplace after graduating from Library School, which I had attended immediately after receiving my undergraduate degree, and here I have been ever since.  During 30+ years, I have worked in various positions and several departments. 

I will not fool myself into thinking that it was only yesterday I was beginning my career at the Library; however, I do admit that it doesn’t seem all that long ago that we moved into the current Library building and it has actually been 19 years! 

Some of my friends tease me and ask if I can recount the number of days/hours until leaving but I have no interest in doing that math.  I admit that last year I did sometimes think, “Oh, this is probably my last time doing this,” but I have not mentally trotted out that phrase after having to readjust my time schedule. 

So, here I go, moving towards another next phase in my life.  The time will go fast, my friends assure me.  And it will probably will, or at least continue to march forward.  In the meantime there are still desk shifts to work, book groups to lead, books for those groups to choose, materials to order for Library collections, materials on the shelves to review, technology to learn and remember, and, well, whatever else comes along.