Marie MacDonald, after 50 years in the workforce, including the last 13-plus with the Town of Amherst, has decided to “hang up my proverbial hat.”
“I just decided I wanted to be able to do what I want when I want to it,” MacDonald said in an interview conducted shortly before her last day of work, which is Friday, May 21, 2021. “I felt it was time for me to relax.”
MacDonald joined the town in January 2008, filling in as an accounts payable clerk for a co-worker who was going out on maternity leave.
“I applied for the job because I liked doing accounting,” she recalled.
MacDonald never left. Instead, she added to her duties, becoming the town’s receptionist, in addition to her accounts payable duties, about eight years ago.
As the minutes tick down to the start of her retirement, MacDonald admits her emotions are running rampant.
“They’re going from nervous to excited to over the moon happy to sadness,” she said. “To me retirement is not just a case of not having to set the alarm anymore. It’s a major life changing decision.
“I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy all of the wonderful things that I never stopped to enjoy on my journey through work life. It is my belief that in retirement your
life changes and allows you to take the time to re-calibrate and find hidden values all over again.”
MacDonald admits she will miss meeting with the town’s citizens.
“The diversity of the people we have in this town is unbelievable,” she said. “That diversity is a great thing.
“I can say that, without a doubt, the most important and wonderful aspect of my duties has been the opportunity to meet and serve some of the very finest people I have ever met. I will be sad to not have that experience, but at the same time fulfilled. So, to the great people of our wonderful town – Thank you Amherst!”
She said she’ll also miss the camaraderie of her fellow co-workers.
“My time here at the Town of Amherst has been unforgettable in so many different ways,” MacDonald added. “I have learned so much from so many diverse and wonderful people.
“To the management of the Town of Amherst, past and present, I must thank you so much for the opportunity that was afforded to me to be the first face of town hall.
“To my co-workers, with whom I have shared secrets and life stories, who I have cried with and those that I have laughed with, I will miss you guys more than you will know.”
MacDonald said she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband, Dean, their four children and 10 grandchildren.
“I’m hoping to be the cool nanny with them,” she said, referring to her grandchildren. “We’re close now, but I’d like to become even closer now that I have the time.”
She’s also looking forward to having the time to do some home projects that have been postponed over the years and to pick up some hobbies.
“I have no hobbies to speak of. So, I’ve got to learn to develop a few.”
Just then the phone rings. MacDonald smiles.
“What I won’t miss is having the phone interrupt me every time I try to get something done.”
She laughs, picks up the phone, “Town of Amherst, how may I help you.”