As our redundancy date draws closer the farewells have begun. I have just two weeks to go! After a lifetime (well 22 years in the one workplace anyway) it is a massive change to come to terms with. All my staff are taking redundancies so it will be the end of an era.
I was completely taken aback when my staff presented me with special gifts last night at our farewell dinner. We had decided that I would make a photo book of memories from our time working together with a special piece from each person – either a story, picture, puzzle, word art, memory – something we could all enjoy reading in years to come. Everyone would pay for their book and it would be our farewell gift to each other. It worked really well and the book was a resounding success. So when I was presented with more gifts, I was completely unprepared.
As their manager they had chosen a selection of thoughtful gifts for me – a beautiful Dogwood tree, called Cloud 9) which will be planted at a suitable time in the future with everyone coming together to be present at the planting, (a good excuse for us all to reconnect after we finish up). Our horticulture teacher, in conjunction with the others, worked hard at choosing a tree that would survive our climate and would be a lovely reminder of our time together.
I also received a circle of seven friends candle holder with this explanation and description:
Ancient native legend says that at the end of the evening, friends would gather around a bonfire and share their hearts. They would speak of the good qualities of each other and remember times shared. As the embers faded their friendship was said to be sealed anew, bringing them closer together.
These circle of friends dancers will never let go of each other’s arms. Inextricably entwined they represent an ancient ceremonial dance symbolizing the unbroken circle of friendship.
How fitting is that? Cue the tears!
The message on the Kikki K tote bag at the bottom of this post has the best advice and I am determined to use this as my mantra from now on!
Although I have fought hard to save my position and those of the other teachers around the state, it has not been successful. I still haven’t accepted the decision and I think it is wrong on so many levels. (I have written quite a few posts about the issues if you’d like to read up on them, just look through my blog).
I have really struggled over the past few months since hearing our jobs would be redundant by the end of the year. I can’t say that I am accepting of it now but I have to make it work for me. I cannot stay bitter and sad for the rest of my life. It would be the undoing of me if I did that. My staff have been amazingly supportive throughout the ordeal and we have made the best of a bad situation whenever possible.
I’m happy to say I have since regained my sparkle and am looking forward to a new way of life. As a young-at-heart,energetic, enthusiastic 55 year old I will be unstoppable – just watch me!
So if you have any advice for a newly out of work education professional, feel free to leave me a comment. I think my new mantra will work for me quite well for the time being, what do you think?
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