Been Thinking: ‘So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye ’So go the lyrics to a song from the beloved, classic movie musical “The Sound of Music.”
By: Vera Roy-Stoeberl, River Falls Journal
So go the lyrics to a song from the beloved, classic movie musical “The Sound of Music.”
Why begin with references to leave-taking or some sort of parting?
They’re chosen to let readers know that I’ve decided to retire; to resign from my almost half-century of gainful employment. Retirement’s been a long time coming as far as I’m concerned, and I’m more than ecstatic that it’s finally here.
I’ve learned much since those days when I began working at the age of 14, most likely because I was lucky enough to work at a variety of jobs and for a good number of employers.
To date I’ve been a music teacher (accordion and piano); office assistant; factory line piece-worker; switchboard operator (yes, on the kind of apparatus that used cords to connect phone calls); enrollment secretary; bookkeeper; reference librarian; receptionist; payroll and human resources assistant; nurses’ aide; accounts receivable manager; sales clerk; customer service associate; and most recently proofreader and reporter.
Some jobs gave me much gratification and were so enjoyable that they made me feel like I wasn’t “working” at all. Others not so much. Those were the stressful ones; the demanding ones that made me breathe a big sigh of relief when I resigned from them.
But I did come away from each of them — the good and the bad — with a newly acquired perspective on life, with new bits of useful knowledge I hadn’t known before, with the opportunity to meet a large variety of different people and, of course, with a means to help keep a roof over my head.
And for all that I am grateful. I thank all those who were kind enough to employ me and give me the chance to try and do my best. Though I’ve not been perfect in all respects, I truly attempted to be and have always worked hard and enthusiastically.
During these last 12-plus years at the Journal I’ve strived to follow these words of wisdom that I once shared with a fellow coworker, and now with you.
If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth the reading
Or do things worth the writing.
Profound advice for a journalist, eh?
Thursday, Dec. 1, which for many of you will be the day you first read this, my final column, is my last day of work at the Journal. It’s a day I actually began planning for at the beginning of this year — back in January, when I said to myself, “It’s time.”
Though they’ve been enjoyable, educational, economical, and sometimes exciting, my 48 years of work are 17,520 days I’m happy to put behind me. I’m truly tired of working and I’ve been thinking for a long while that I’m so ready to retire.
So to those “Sound of Music” lyrics, allow me to add the words “dovidjenja,” and “puno hfala” from my first-learned language of Serbian. They are heartily extended to all of you and when translated mean “until we see each other again” and “thanks much.”