Come Saturday afternoon, I’ll no longer be the president of the Green Party of Saskatchewan. I’ve occupied the role for the last four years, since I was placed into the position by the board as the interim president in the Autumn of 2008, and was then elected and reelected by the party membership. It may not sound like a long time, but it feels like it. And come Saturday I’ll be stepping down not just from that particular role, but from the board in general.
I do have to admit, the decision has come with some mixed emotions… and it really wasn’t much of a decision really. The party has a requirement that members not serve on the board any longer than three years. I stayed on longer as there was no-one to fill the role except for myself. This year though, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to serve with Vicki Strelioff who was elected as my VP. And after working with her all this past year, and seeing how wonderfully she has handled herself through what proved to be a rather difficult year for the board, I have EVERY confidence in her ability to serve the membership as party chair.
I now have to decide if I do my one last duty, or if I step aside and allow Vicki to chair our AGM. It would seem an obvious decision. I attend the AGM, and chair one final meeting. The only reason it is a choice at all, and not just a given, is I know how difficult I will find it.
There is no glory in being the president of a political party. You hold all the responsibility, for everything that happens within the party, yet hardly anyone even knows your name. The leader – the figurehead – gets the all the prestige (and in some instances, without nearly the work). But if something ever goes wrong, that shifts very quickly. The president is the scapegoat, the one who’s head hits the chopping block in any scandal. However, if you’ve done your job well? Life continues on normally, no-one even realizing you are there – navigating the rough water, keeping an even keel. Ensuring your ship and her crew are safe and at ease. …it’s not a perfect metaphor, but it works. 😉
The GPS has been such a huge part of my daily life for the last half decade… There is some relief at no longer having to shoulder the burden, but there is also a very large sense of loss. I know myself, and know how prone to tears I can be. I’m not sure I’d make it through that final meeting without coming apart – and that’s hardly befitting the chair of the board. I don’t know. I very honestly am not sure what I want to do.
At first it didn’t even enter into my mind that attending was a choice. It’s part of the job description. I call and chair all the meetings… but the closer this meeting gets, the more I’m finding I’m dreading it. I feel kind of silly over the whole thing, but part of me knows I’ll have to say good bye, and if I avoid the meeting, I can avoid doing so.
I guess we’ll see. I don’t have long now, and one way or another I need to make the choice. It really is the end of an era for me, and to be honest I’m torn over how I feel. Relief and sadness… they make for odd bedfellows.