No morning meditation today. I went outside at sunrise to begin my work. I knew the day would be a hot one and I wanted to get a lot done. As I worked and painted I kept thinking of where I am today. I am a retired woman with too many things to do.
I pondered what my mother was like when she retired. She had worked so hard her entire life. Most of the time she was barely keeping her head above water. When she married W it was the easiest time of her life. She still worked hard but now it was different. Instead of being a waitress at two or more jobs she was selling real estate. She started taking classes at the local junior college by joining me in an art class. We had such fun practicing the names of ancient art pieces. Then she continued to take more classes and ended up getting her real estate license. I was so proud of her reaching a lifetime goal. But I digress.
She retired and they moved to AZ. Retirement meant that for the first time since she was 16 she wasn’t working full time. Retirement for my mom meant time to crochet, time to play canasta, and mahjong. She was so enjoying her new state and new friends. She finally took time to travel. Mom and W wanted to travel to see all 50 states. I don’t know how many they made it to. I know they enjoyed their travels and that makes me happy. I made scrapbooks for them so they could look at their travels.
My retirement will be so very different from hers. I like different things. But the reality is, we both seek things we enjoy in retirement. She did get to see many of her dreams. In her later years I would travel to AZ every month to visit with her and do “honey dos” for her. We would bring my grand kids out to visit. She adored her new title GG = great grandma. I did not ever think about what my retirement would look like during that time. I was spending valuable time with my mom as well as my kids and grand kids. I wish we had more conversations about what she did that made her happy. I am missing my mom and wish I had more time to talk to her.
Evidently at some point my older brother asked her, her opinion of him. She sent him an email and CC me. I am not sure why she felt I needed to see the email. I have no contact with my toxic older brother. The next time I visited Mom, she wanted to know if I cared about her opinion of me. She wanted to have a serious conversation. I told her if that made her happy it was fine with me. She told me she was proud of me. She was so pleased that I had continued school and even though I married at 18, I never gave up on my goals. She expressed how happy she was with the way I had raised my daughters. I never thought I needed or wanted her approval. There it was though and it made me cry. So two old women shared joys of reaching places they never thought accessible.
In my retirement I will be able to work on my house, enjoy my hobbies, and spend time with those I love. I will have time to sit and read and do nothing if I choose. Right now I am a woman on a mission to fix up and clean out my surroundings. I think I have an internal goal to get most chores done by the time school starts. That way, when everyone else is back to school, I will be retired with only fun things to do.
I am grateful for reaching this time of my life. I am grateful for all that I have done. I am grateful for all that I still want to do. I look forward to a long retirement while making amazing memories.
Linda Hill’s stream of consciousness makes my Saturday blog different than my norm. It means instead of focusing on what repeatedly popped in my head, I need to focus on what popped in my head from her topic. A subtle difference but one I enjoy.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “leaves.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!
As is my usual goal I attempt to join my blog topic with her parameters.
When spring leaves, summer comes.
When summer comes my need to grade papers leaves. When summer comes my school stress leaves. When summer comes my demand to make parent phone calls leaves. When summer comes my desire to get to work at 6:15 leaves. When summer comes my worry about 155 little people leaves. When summer comes the necessity to attend staff meetings leaves. When summer comes my requirement to complete report cards leaves. When summer comes my obsession to redesign my lessons leaves. When summer comes my wish to people please my coworkers leaves. When summer comes my “must gotta” list leaves.
This time I leave my classroom for the last time. I am grateful that after 35 years I am entering my own perpetual summer.
Don’t leave without checking out Linda’s blog. For all the rules and to read how others interpreted this topic check out her site. There are so many wonderful bloggers who follow the SoCS and I try each week to visit one I haven’t read before. Go here to see who else joined in. SoCS 6/22/2019
As I pondered the question, “What are you going to do today?” I laughed out loud. Not only do I have tons of things I need to do, but even more things I want to do. My hope is, in this new life experience called retirement, I can manage a balance that makes me happy.
I am enjoying SWW. Because of less time constraints I have the opportunity to participate more. Yesterday was a perfect example. I met a lovely woman and whether or not we connect again, the meeting was good for me. It also reminded me to reach out to some other ladies I need to contact. I want to do the things that make me happy.
Along with my obvious time involved hobbies, I am seeking to do more purging of things that are weighing me down. I am currently looking at clutter clearing as a hobby because we seek out and find time for our hobbies. The first video on the clutter clearing challenge came today and I was grateful to have the time to watch. I love that the host kept emphasizing to do what parts felt right for you. I have resisted making an alter for personal reasons, but I am going to try and see how it feels. The host was quite emphatic that it does not have to be religious, just a place to breathe in energy.
As of yet, I have not spent hardly any time reading. I have perused a few books to help decide what I’d like to read next. I have not started my quilting. There is fabric left over from my glorious quilt that is calling me to create something. I am ignoring the call for right now. When I cleaned out the linen closet I recovered a stack of WIP that I need to attend to. My scrapbooking room was used to happily create two scrapbooks for a dear friend of my mothers. I have found so many free webinars on a variety of topics that I could do nothing but watch my computer all day.
So far I have been spending my time in my garden and cleaning up the giant mess that I call home. Every summer of my career has been spent getting caught up with all the things I do not usually have time for. I typically do a big chore every summer. This summer my huge task will be to go through all the school items I deposited in my garage. I am not one for trashing useful items. I have a few ideas of summer programs that might enjoy much of my belongings.
I have many household items in need of professional repair that I have put off forever. I know I should add getting things fixed to my list of things to do. My new situation is that I have lots and lots of time and I am in no urgent rush to get things done. I can’t see myself ever sitting around with nothing to do. The best part of all this is that I get to choose the things I feel like doing at the moment. I am joyfully wrapping my head around my new reality.
Today is truly the first day of the rest of my life. I don’t have a job to go to.
I will no longer have lesson plans to make. I will no longer have labs to create and recreate. I will no longer have papers to grade for hours and hours. I will no longer have a schedule to keep. I no longer have a classroom to go to. Happily, I won’t need to eat or use the restroom dictated by a bell.
I also don’t have any students to greet. I won’t get to share the many aha moments I cherish. I won’t have work friends to share my thoughts with. I will no longer have hundreds of daily positive interactions with kids. I no longer will get to use my creativity to make my lessons come alive.
I now get to do things on my schedule. I can decide to do nothing at all if I choose. I want to clean out all the items I brought home from my teaching career. I get to decide how long I work on my projects, unhindered by other requirements. I can read my huge stack of books without a limiting time frame. I have time to scrapbook the years of pictures I am behind on. I will be able to use the closet full of fabrics to create more quilts. I will work in my small gardens until I run out of energy. I can’t wait to work on more of my bowling balls in my bowling ball garden. I have season after season of my favorite TV shows to binge watch at my discretion. I have time now for creating my cards and letter writing. I can call friends and family whenever they are not busy. I can do lunch with other retired friends. I will be able to see how the rest of the world occupies their days sans a job to go to.
I am ready. I have things to do. I have a life to live.
This week has been so exciting for my soul and harmful to my body. I yearn for living a life of 10. ONLY in the way that brings joy, new experiences, and peace. I abhor living in 10 when it comes to my pain level. This week I have been experiencing nines and tens in both ways.
I have had wonderful 10s because of the many adults and students who have reached out with hugs, kind words, cards, text messages, and well wishes. It has been joyfully overwhelming. I have experienced happy tears so many times recently. My heart is full. My mind is happy. My thoughts are repeatedly filled with glee. I know on this, my last day of teaching, I made the right decision for me. What started as a dream of a lonely second grader evolved into a dream of a young mom. Now the fulfilled dream of a bonafide senior citizen has come to closure. My emotional state has been at a high plateau and I’d like to keep it there.
Of course not everything is rosy. My body is quite angry at me. All the lifting and moving of boxes, books, lab materials, etc. has taken a toll on my physical well being. The constant walking all over campus has heightened my pain levels. The constant hours and hours of being on my feet has brought me to tears. The desire, no need, to leave everything just so has meant that I have overworked myself. I have put myself in to a flare. I have resisted the screaming aches and pains that desire strong medication. While emotionally I strive for 10s, I’d be ever so grateful if my weary body never saw those numbers.
So tomorrow when I awake as a retired woman, I will do my best to keep those emotional 10s and to avoid the physical pain level 9s and 10s. I will work those numbers to make my retirement happy and less painful. I won’t be under a time constraint to get everything done. I will allow my body to rest and heal as necessary. I deserve it. After all, I an now a happily retired lady.