It’s been about 16 months since I retired after 45 years as an educator, the last 15+ years as a principal. Since then, I’ve had experiences that I never thought I’d have, opportunities that have definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone such as:
- Writing and self-publishing a book about my life journey and how I led our school as a principal – Leading with Aloha: From the Pineapple Fields to the Principal’s Office. The book is also available at Barnes & Noble Ala Moana, da shop books, Booklines Hawaii, and Amazon or directly through me. (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to purchase a copy.)
- Appearing as a guest on “Think Tech Hawaii: Beyond the Lines” with Rusty Komori
- Having a successful book signing at Barnes & Noble Ala Moana
- Appearing on “Kukui Connection” on `Olelo Comunity Television with Marilyn Lee
- Speaking to diverse groups (Toastmasters, Department of Education complex area school leaders, service organizations, an ad agency, etc.) and sharing about my experiences and my book.
- Having an article written about me in the MidWeek Central O`ahu Voice (“Mililani Resident Releases ‘Leading with Aloha’ Book)
- Creating a web page (janiwase.com) and updating information regularly.
- Learning more and sharing a message about taking care of ourselves and about Chronic Kidney Disease and organ donation, topics that are directly related to our son Jarand who passed away unexpectedly in May 2018 at the age of 38
- And, as another author shared with me, “shamelessly promoting” my book. This has probably been the most challenging part of publishing a book (thank goodness for social media), but I am getting more comfortable about self-promotion. At the recent Wahine Forum, when I was asked where I worked, I confidently replied, “I am a retired principal and an author” which led to additional questions, conversations, and sharing my business card. The more I say it, the easier it gets.
As a retiree in 2018, I looked forward to relaxing, traveling with my husband, going to the gym more regularly, spending time with my 92-year-old mom, and working on projects around the house. I had no idea that writing a book would bring so many opportunities and new experiences for me. Retirement has been all I hoped for, and more, and I look forward to continuing my journey as a learner.