Sunday, May 8, 2011

You're retiring? You must be old!

I can remember when I was young and heard about people retiring.  I always thought, "They must be old.  Their life is almost over."  I pictured them with gray hair, going to bed early every night, not really having much to look forward to in their remaining years.  Then my dad retired from Corporate America, had 2 different businesses, moved to Florida, moved to Arizona, and had a great retirement life with my mother.  This made me examine my definition of retirement. For the first time, I had a very different perspective on what retirement really meant.

I also remember that, when I began teaching, I wondered how I could ever do this for 10 years-let alone enough years until I could retire.  It seemed FOREVER!  My own retirement seemed so-o-o-o far away.  I first substituted, then had my own classrooms; I mentored, became an administrator, and a director.  Now I look around and discover that 33 years have gone by.  What I thought would take so long, in retrospect, seems like it went by fairly quickly.

Am I older?  Yes, of course, I am!  Do I have gray hair?  Of course, I have some gray (I still have some red hair, too)!  However, I also am wiser, and I like who I am at this point in my life.  I feel like I have accomplished wonderful things in my life: raising 2 sons, having a very successful career that has challenged me and that I have loved, had a loving marriage with my best friend.  I feel like I have paid my dues and am looking forward to my retirement.

In my first post, I talked about how I viewed life: that we go through 3 phases: childhood, adulthood, and retirement.  I am now entering the third phase of my life: retirement.  I believe that I have many wonderful years to enjoy life.  I can do this without feeling guilty or having it compete with my need to earn a living.  I have earned the right to explore life without the time constraints I had during my adulthood phase.  I can stay up late (which is my natural rhythm) without having to worry about getting up for work each morning.  I can finally have time to be at home and may even be able to have some time just for myself!

I know that I am very fortunate to be able to do this.  Many are not able to experience this phase in the way that I am hoping to be able to do.  I am looking forward to having the time to learn new things, to explore new things, and to enjoy time with my family.  What will I do with my time?  That is a post for another day.  For now, I plan to find my joy.

Have you found your joy today?

1 comment:

  1. Good second post! My joy today was reflecting on my first year of marriage (to your eldest son) and watching my baby crawl. I spent most of the night looking through all her tiny baby pictures.