Comments of a Distracted Mind: Retirement and New Beginnings

Kevin and I have been so very fortunate to have had the leadership and steadying presence of Beth Reicker as our editor-in-chief, voice of reason and resident den mother for the past twelve months. When we bought Ossekeag Publishing we were full of hopes and dreams, but had little experience with the ins and outs of the day-to-day running of a serial publication. Kevin had experience managing a business and I loved the English language… those were our “qualifications”. Add into the mix that I was expecting our first child and still working full-time for a very busy family lawyer while Kevin typically worked a 60 hour week between his two businesses and his volunteer work, we were fairly reliant on our staff to keep things operating smoothly.
Enter Beth – she helped guide me through the ins and outs of editorial copy and deciding what and where to place pictures and reader submissions. She protected the graphics department from my more outlandish ideas and helped develop other thoughts into concrete plans. She helped Shelley become reacquainted with the duties at the front desk and under Beth’s tutelage Shelley has become our Office Manager. Combining wit with wisdom, Beth did all of this – and so much more – despite planning to retire in June. I know that many in her situation would have been content to put in her last few months with minimum fuss, but not Beth. Instead, she approached me in May about delaying her retirement until October so that I could enjoy time at home with my baby.  October became November and then December and Beth was still here, encouraging, guiding and helping Ossekeag truly blossom.
Beth and I agreed that she would not be returning after the Christmas break, she would be starting her long postponed retirement; we talked about Beth coming in to cover vacation time and sick days and I had the idea in my head that Beth would still be that mothering presence in the office. In early December, Beth retired. I think a part of me has been in denial since then. On many occasions I have drafted a note for our Facebook page to thank Beth for everything she has done over the past few months in nurturing our dream. Ultimately I decided she deserved so much more than just a Facebook post. Please join me, Kevin and all the staff at Ossekeag Publishing in wishing Beth all the best in her retirement.
Beth – I hope you are able to enjoy your grandchildren, spend time pursuing your photography and take that trip to Norway.  You are always welcome in the office; when you are not here, you are truly missed.