Friday, 18 July 2014

Retired…. at last!

It’s all over bar the crying.

I’ve made my last (of many) retirement speeches. There seemed to be so many, for different audiences. There were things that I needed to say and things that I wanted to say to the children, parents, my colleagues, friends and family. I tried hard to be positive and uplifting in my speeches, because, besides exhausted that’s exactly how I feel.

I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the messages, cards, gifts, tributes and hugs.

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On the outside I’ve managed to be composed with hardly a tear, although inside I was only one tear away from complete emotional breakdown! In order to get through the day I needed to, rather like a skater coming out of a spin, focus on one spot, whilst still looking at people and engaging with them. It’s almost like it wasn’t happening to me and that I was just an onlooker in someone’s life. Actually, a very surreal experience.

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I’ve included some pics of my flowers and gifts not so that you’ll think that I am wonderful but rather you’ll understand how lucky I’ve been in my choice of career, school, colleagues, friends and most of all family. I’m also opening my blog to colleagues and friends at school, most of whom haven’t been aware that it exists! they will be able to see (if they don’t know already) how grateful I am to be a part of their lives.

I’m off to a BBQ tonight, and tomorrow have a stream of visitors. I’m being taken out in the afternoon by the wonderful TA’s at school. I’m not certain where, but I have to be tidily dressed and hungry!!!

At some stage we’ll be wending our way to France, via Cambridge to meet my brother, and Maidstone to overnight with friends.

I hope that you are experiencing some of my happiness and contentment. Not because of retirement, but because something (however small, and on the surface insignificant) has gone right in your lives.

My gripes are going to be put to one side for today, but you can be sure you’ll be hearing about them!

  I’m typing this using my new laptop, as my old one was a work one. DO NOT mention Windows 8…

21 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!! What at sent-off ... and well-deserved I'm sure. Enjoy and good luck :) Hope we can repeat the celebration next year in La Douce France. Hug, Martine

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    1. Thanks,Martine.

      I hope so too... X

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  2. So that's it Gaynor, all done, and the whole of the rest of your life to look forward to.
    I think it's truly wonderful that you have had a magnificent send off. You will be missed by colleagues and students. You may never know what an impact you had on their lives, such is the role of the teacher.
    So shed your tears, of sadness and joy, and we look forward to seeing you here in the Loire as you move on to the next chapter.

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    1. It hasn't hit me yet, although this morning I opened my friend, Barbara's card and letter. The first real tear. I'm glad that I didn't open it at the BBQ she hosted last night. I would have crumbled and the joyous occasion could have become something very different. She is convinced that for the last three weeks I have completely blocked out the process and looked on from the sidelines.

      Perhaps she's right...x

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  3. And happy birthday! I hadn't twigged until today that you were retiring on your birthday (at least, my calendar says it's your birthday today...)

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    1. Thanks, but it's not my birthday until October. However, I feel almost like it is...all birthdays rolled into one!!!

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  4. You're very much valued by all who have known and worked with you, Gaynor, on both sides of the staff room door. That much is obvious.

    What is less obvious is the amount of patience, dedication and sheer hard graft you've put in to gain that respect and love.

    You'll be sadly missed at school, I'm sure, but we'll be so glad to see more of you here in France. The school's loss is our gain!

    Shed all the tears you need; you've every right to cry bucketfuls after such a long and successful career.

    Welcome to the world of the "how did we ever have time to go to work"ers!!

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    1. We are both looking forward to it!

      Thanks for the nice words x

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  5. You have obviously 'touched' a lot of people...which is all anyone can hope to do...we know you will enjoy what follows.

    Jim & Pauline

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    1. Thanks.

      I feel like even though I've loved my work, the time is right to bow out. I think when you've worked in the same place for 30 years you become part of the furniture!

      See you soon.

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  6. Congratulations... it is clear that you've touched a lot of people!
    Shed all the tears you want...
    for now...
    and then take time to relax and enjoy the gifts and tributes...
    you have earnt them through hard work and example.
    The difficult bit is now to come...
    which job to tackle first!!!
    See you soon,
    Tim & Pauline

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    1. Thanks T&P.

      There is already a list!

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  7. You'll be ok.. In fact you will be better than ok! The uphill and dowhill slopes still exist but you will find yourself an even better person than you imagined hiding in the shell of the teacher! Go with the flow and if you have to shed a tear... then what the hell.... here you have transition from one life to another and I know that I feel confident that you will never look back. Times are hard but windows are opened! Voila! x

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    1. Thanks.

      With the demise of Mr Gove I was almost tempted to stay....almost!

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  8. Congratulations! And remember, retirement is a 24/7 job. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Walt.

      We will! We shall be taking our lead from all the retires who've gone before, including you and Ken. ;o)

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  9. I've thought about you a lot this week. I am so glad you have had such a wonderful send off, you absolutely deserve it. Now..... relax into the summer, and just see what happens next.... I bet it wont be boring. Fondest love Jxxx

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    1. Thanks, Janice.

      You will have gone through this in several incarnations, for yourself and Mark. As one leaves another, Jess, moves in. Good luck to her xx

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  10. Wow Gaynor , this is such an emotional post, I had another blogger friend retire last month and it was nothing like this, You are going to be able to go to France, live in France , and all the good things, So happy for you. I have never had a career, so I wont; go through this. Wishing you lots of luck in your retirement and all you do , it will be fun. Yes I have had some joyeous news tonight , my youngest son and his girlfriend got engaged today , , xx

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  11. Yep DO NOT mention Windows 8 , it is RUBBISH!!

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  12. Congratulations! So happy to see you got such a wonderful send off. You've obviously touched so many students/parents/colleagues lives in such a positive way :-)
    Looking forward to seeing you soon :-)

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