The last day?

by Noel McLaughlin

You work your whole life and then comes that last day.

Or is it?

That’s what is so exciting about retirement. You may elect to do nothing. Or you may elect to do something completely new. That informs my standard answer when asked what I intend to do upon retirement. Early, I might add. (Okay not that early.)

So, it may just be that last day IN THE OFFICE. I’m reminded of that great line from a classic Monte Python movie – “I’m not dead yet.”

Of course, as a dyed-in-the-wool dilettante, my hope (fear) is that I will want to try a little bit of everything.

Truly I think it will be fun to sleep in and watch morning TV. But (I hope) that will probably last only a couple of days. There was that time I worked on my master’s thesis in a bathrobe a little longer than my husband thought warranted. So, my track record with unstructured time may not be the best.

Or is it?

I’ve re-invented myself numerous times, holding many jobs and roles in several professions.

Is it just because it’s one of the last acts that makes it daunting? Will it be William Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams? More likely Neil Simon.

If you’ve entered into this blog space to find inspiration about my career in communications, PR, philanthropy or aging in America, click on. You will not find that here.

What you will find are a couple of observations and a few words of advice.

Observation one: the most generous philanthropists in our state don’t have the biggest bank accounts. It’s much like the little drummer boy. We regularly witness those who give a huge proportionate share of their treasure to help others and support their communities. I won’t call them out here, but I’ve written about some and met many more.

Observation two: the team at NCCF is uniquely dedicated to their work. Of course, the cause is galvanizing, but there is no one here who is not devoted to our mission to inspire North Carolinians to make lasting and meaningful contributions to their communities. If you’ve ever worked anywhere, you know how rare this level of devotion is.

And now for the advice part: Have the audacity to care about those with whom you work, and don’t be afraid to let them know. Don’t hoard it all for your family or BFFs. I hope the folks I have come to care about here at the NCCF know.

It has been my honor to serve as the director of communications and marketing for the NCCF for the last decade. I was brought here, in part, to create the Foundation’s brand. But I soon learned that the brand didn’t need to be built as much as it simply needed to be “revealed.” The work spoke for itself and always has. The Foundation’s reputation as a trusted philanthropic partner has been the story since my day one and will surpass my last.

It has been my honor to tell your stories!