Reflections on Retirement

I am now retired. I wasn’t expecting to be severed form my life as a teacher this abruptly. It happened because I fell at work as a result of my disability. The principal said there was not any way someone could be spared to work in the classroom with me until the end of the year in June, and so I had to change the date on my retirement papers and that was that.

Because everything happened so abruptly, I am not yet fully appreciating retirement. All my friends who have retired say that I will soon, and the ones that aren’t retired don’t talk to me probably because they are too busy working. When I was working I often wondered what life would be like when I retired. It seemed so much a far-away thing that I didn’t really ever think about what it would mean. What it means to me now is a complete lack of routine and structure in my day. I want to be back in my classroom, answering a million questions and asking a million more. I want to be playing with the kids and their ipads exploring ways for them to use the technology they have been given. I want to be sharing the latest book I have read with them and choosing the next one that might be possible for the classroom library. Instead I am essentially doing nothing, sitting in my garden, watching my morning shows, reading books, and playing with my ipad. Not much of a routine!

I am slowly getting over my depression at being yanked away from the job I loved. I am beginning to realize that I am as free now as I was as a young child. This time there is no parent hovering around telling me what to do, it is my choice. Such freedom is hard to remember, but it is coming back to me. I do not have to go anywhere, and I do not have to do anything. Such power makes me tremble with excitement, and happiness. I have asked to volunteer at the community college’s tutoring service for Reading and Writing, and tomorrow pick up an application to do so. More excitement. I am learning about Facebook and actually have a page now! I have a few blogs about education and things to say about the state it was in when I left, and how I felt about it. (A follow up from last summer’s blog concerning advice I never got.) More freedom!

The future looks very bright, and as I sit in the garden and listen to the morning doves call I remember my childhood self running through the long grass of the orchard, utterly free.

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