Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Am I a Title?

For 33 years, I have held a title: teacher, mentor, adjunct professor, lead mentor, administrator, director.  Now that my work life with the school district is ending, I will be leaving those titles behind.  It makes me wonder how I will feel.

I remember watching my dad when he retired.  He was a vice president of a major corporation one moment; then he was not.  It was hard for him.  I think that he lost a part of his identity.  Status was a big part of his generation, and his status was tied to his title.  

I am a member of the baby boomer generation.  I survived watching the Vietnam War every single night during my formative years.  We questioned the government; we questioned the status quo.  I know that this changed my life.  I was not like my parents in defining myself by the viewpoints of others.  I decided a long time ago to be my own person.  I am hoping that this will continue into my retirement.  I also realize that I have other titles that may mean even more to me!

One title that I am proud of is "wife"!   That title is one that I have held for a very long time-almost 38 years now.   I have earned it!  I was fortunate that I married my best friend, but every marriage is hard.  You have to work at it, and I have done so.  While my husband will still be working for a few more years, I am hoping that my retirement will allow us to spend more time together on the weekends instead of errands or resting because I was so tired.  Eventually, we hope to be able to travel and explore old age together.

Another title that means a lot to me is "sister".  I am so blessed because I have twin brothers whom I love very much.  They don't live in the Twin Cities anymore, and I don't get to see them very often BUT I adore them.  This is a title that I have held the longest-for 47 years.  (Sadly, both of my parents are gone so I can't claim the title of daughter anymore.)  My brothers have shared my journey/my history and love me no matter what.  There is always a connection there.  Since there is a difference in our ages, we are in different stages of our lives.  However, I know that they are always there if I need them.  

I have saved the most important title for last: "mother".  This is the one that I am most proud of and I think that it truly defines me if any title does.  This one has changed my life!  I will be a mother to my last breath.  I know that fathers love their children, but I don't think that they understand a mother's love.  It is visceral!  It is all-encompassing!  And it never goes away no matter how old they are-no matter what they do!  I am so proud of my sons and the young men they have become.  They are smart, caring, and loving.  My older son is a lot like me.  We often see the world in the same way, and I enjoy watching him with my granddaughter (yes, I am a grandmother, too!).  He is in love with his daughter and it touches my soul.  How can I describe my feelings for my younger son?  We are alike and different at the same time, and we have a connection that is strong, resilient, and indescribable.  I am grateful for every minute I can spend with him as I watch him grow up before my eyes.  

Am I giving up my titles from work?  Yes!  However, I am keeping the titles that truly define me, that truly are important to me.  And who knows?  I may experience exciting and new titles in my future!  And no matter what: my joy is still with me because it is in my family! 

Have you found your joy today?

1 comment:

  1. I would say that you are still a daughter - I don't think that title goes away just because your parents are no longer on this earth. Think of yourself as a Daughter Emeritus.