A Thankful Farewell

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I recently read an email on how a thankful attitude not only sets a positive tone for your day but can also improve your overall health. I love this time of the year but can easily get caught up in the chaos of “doing and buying.” This year is a little different. At the time of writing this, I haven’t purchased even one Christmas gift, but I feel quite jovial and am humming Christmas songs daily. I am giving myself a special gift this year – retirement. Those close to me know I love my job, so I am both sad and hopeful. I love teaching and helping others figure out solutions to their problems relating to nutrition, food preservation, cooking, food safety, and sewing. I am hopeful for time to do other things.

The email on thankful attitudes recommended starting each day by writing out 10 things for which you are thankful, then place them in a spot you will see throughout the day. It also recommended writing a personal note to thank someone for being in your life. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness for my career.

  1. I am grateful for my awesome leaders, both in the public schools and here at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center. I am truly grateful for Everett Davis, who hired me as a Family and Consumer Science Extension agent in 2008. His decision provided me invaluable experiences. I am especially grateful for my current director, Christy Strickland. She definitely leads by example and isn’t afraid to work alongside her staff. I love the way she brainstorms with staff for creative solutions. I couldn’t be more blessed than to get to work with my friend over these many years.
  2. I am grateful for awesome coworkers, both past and present. They seem to always be there, offering a helping hand when you need it most. I am so impressed with the teamwork philosophy at our office. I love the way Mack Johnson and Mac Malloy can come up with a quick reply that cracks everyone up and are just plain funny. I love how different ones find silly jokes to share. This light-heartedness really makes work enjoyable, even during the really tough times, like our hurricane destruction in 2016 and 2018.
  3. I am grateful for students and clients. Since I began teaching in 1982, some students/clients have been quite challenging and impactful in building my ability to teach. Some have become regulars in my classes and make teaching fun. Some have become good friends. I have learned as much from my students as they did from me.
  4. I am grateful for North Carolina State University’s high-quality, research-based trainings. I am continually amazed at how much I have learned from Cooperative Extension. I think my brain mass quadrupled over the past eleven years.
  5. I am grateful for the work-life balance Cooperative Extension encourages, because none of this would be meaningful without the love and support of my immediate family. They make every day a blessed one.
  6. Most of all, I am thankful to be able to retire and look forward to my transition from educator to student. So, know you will still see me at the Extension office, just in a new role. After six months off that is.

For more information, please contact Janice Fields, Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by email at Janice_Fields@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.

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