Jeri Farren

One From the Heart

Photo Caption: Jeri and Maggie are ready for their next interesting project-graduating from the Doggie Good Citizen Class and becoming a therapy dog to visit nursing homes and perhaps even schools.

If variety is the spice of life, Jeri is parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. She has so many projects and volunteer commitments on the go that she defines the term "active retirement". Learn more about this fascinating lady and the next time you think there is nothing to do on Hilton Head Island, pull out this issue and reread this article!

Pink: I know you have been a long time HHI vacationer, but when did you finally decide to become a permanent resident?
Jeri: Yes, we had been vacationing here for more than 20 years. During one of our trips, we bought a lot in Indigo Run and we have never looked back. We have lived here since 2005. I was a principal in the Scarsdale New York School District and really loved my job, but my motivation to retire came when I became a grandma. I wanted to be a part of that and to be able to be around anytime I was wanted or needed, and that has been the case. I have loved it just as much as I knew I would!

Pink: Was it hard to just pick up and move when you did not know anyone and had always been a professional?
Jeri: It was scary. For the first time in my life, I only had to do what I wanted to do. The real issue was finding what it actually was that I wanted to do. I had a list of some ideas of my own, friends had suggestions, my daughter had her thoughts; you know how that goes. It was sort of a "to do, bucket list".  My first item on the list was to try to get into some kind of shape. My sister and I decided to participate in the July Fourth Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. I was NEVER an athlete, but we made it! Now I go to a bootcamp-style class three times a week and I am in better shape than I was 20 years ago!

Pink: I know you do a variety of volunteer tasks and hold several chairmanships. Tell us about those commitments.
Jeri: Being a volunteer has been a little like going back to high school. I have had the opportunity to create a whole new me and to prove myself in many different ways. It has also helped me make many wonderful friends with shared values. My first volunteer effort was with The Sandbox Children's Discovery Museum. I started as a floor volunteer and then was elected to the board of directors. I am now the Secretary and Chairman of the Educational Programming Committee. I created the "Museum in a Box" program, worked with Yoga for Kids, Baby Sign Language and now summer programs. We are very excited about having a special program for each day of the week this summer, and we are also thrilled to be working on a project with Coastal Discovery Museum for a collaborative class.
I am also very involved with a Woman's Education Committee as a part of the Indigo Run Women's Club. I have worked with a great committee of ladies and we have presented four wonderful programs this year that have been very well attended. Next year, I will be vice- president of the group and I am looking forward to that. In addition, I am a member of the Golf Club Social Committee and the COA committee at Indigo Run.

Pink: Is there anything you DON'T do, Jeri?
Jeri: I have found that being involved in many different things really suits me. I like to be with people and I like the variety I find working with so many types of activities. I had a career that I loved. When I left, many of my friends were betting on how long it would be before I was back working. I took my time, but I have filled the void left after leaving my career. I recognize now that I am still the same person I was in my professional life. I have not reinvented myself. I have the same core values and beliefs in community and inclusion. My work life had a lot of multitasking. It certainly was great experience for wearing many different volunteer hats

Jeri, any final words to live by or great wisdom to share?
Jeri: My mother used to see me off for school each day with these words: "Be good." Think about that each time you start a new day.