Jottings coordinator passes baton, starts new endeavors
I have two announcements.
First, I recently retired from being the coordinator of the Jottings group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, the group of writers who provide this weekly column.
I enjoyed this job for at least 15 years but felt it was time to move on and give someone else the opportunity of leading the monthly meetings and scheduling the writers.
On the few occasions when I've had to miss a meeting, I would ask the group to select a new leader in my absence only to find on my return that I was still in charge of this sometimes unruly monthly gathering, and so continued with my duties.
When I could not be at our meeting this past August, I gave notice that I was definitely retiring and was finally taken seriously.
Our new coordinator is Cherie Dupuis who has been a contributing writer for a few years and is doing a fine job. It's a fun and diverse group with members who bring a variety of perspectives to their articles which, after being read, inspire discussions that often take on lives of their own.
One would think writers would not be so vociferous, but this is not true with the Jotters.
While I will still be a contributing writer for this column, I am pleased to be relieved of the long-time commitment as coordinator. It is my belief that people can stay too long in jobs or positions — be it volunteer or paid.
Even though a person is still capable, doing a satisfactory job and willing to continue, there are usually others in the organization who might appreciate a chance to step up and do some re-organizing with fresh ideas.
We have all seen or known people holding positions of power in companies, government and church communities who have surpassed their effectiveness and are allowed to linger on far beyond their useful time.
I am trying not to be guilty of this so-called Golden-Ager misdemeanor and am continuing to opt out of some long-time commitments.
It's tempting not to accept invitations to new ones but with my 89th birthday looming ahead later this month, I need to recognize my limitations.
The second item I have to share is that I recently published a book, "My Life in Review — Volume I," a memoir in essays.
The title should probably be "My Life in the Lake Oswego Review" since it is a collection of 28 Jottings columns dating from 1997, when I first became a Jotter as Jo Ann Townsend, and ending with the story of my marriage as Jo Ann Parsons in 2003.
The book includes copies of the articles as printed in The Review, along with photos that accompanied some of the stories.
This four-year project finally came to fruition after being shelved several times when life presented other priorities so I feel a great sense of accomplishment in getting it published. Now I must get busy on volume II.
As I re-read the Jottings essays I've written, which are mostly segments of my life, I am grateful for the good times I've enjoyed. And I'm also thankful for the Jottings group which has provided me with a venue to write and publish these stories.
Two more reasons to celebrate another birthday and Thanksgiving!
Jo Ann Parsons is a member of the Jottings group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.
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