Today was my last full day of work. I was awake and ready to go very early. I knew it was going to be a long cleaning day. No new lessons to create. No papers to grade. I was surprised as time for the morning bell to ring approached there were no other 6th grade teachers around. I discovered there was a last minute 6th grade meeting for next year’s schedule. I was not invited. For a half a moment I felt a bit slighted. Then I felt glee knowing whatever drama was happening I was not going to be a part of it. Then I felt bad for the rest of the 6th grade team. It seems that because we are overstaffed by one teacher the district will not replace me. This throws a monkey wrench into the entire 6th grade and science department for a variety of reasons. I feel bad that other teachers will be negatively impacted by my retirement. I see why I was not invited to the meeting.
My work spouse is worried about next year. It is going to be his final year and needless to say he wants it to be as easy as possible. I put in my two cents to encourage a good outcome for him. I want nothing but the best for him. With all the drama going on I felt a bit odd. Like an outsider looking in to what was happening and not allowing myself to be dragged into the chaos. I was happy it was not my circus. I am glad I am retiring and I know what is supposed to happen will happen.
I actually left my classroom during lunch today. That is not my norm. I joined my 6th grade team for a group birthday celebration. It was the last birthday party I shall share with these great people. I now get to look forward to get-togethers with the retired teachers.
I stayed at school until 5:30. I was on campus just short of 12 hours today. I cleaned and purged and sorted items most of the day. I want to leave after the minimum day tomorrow with nothing left to do. I want to know that I left the classroom better than I found it. I want to have my sweet memories of the past 35 years in my head and not memories of cleaning.
At 11:30 tomorrow I will have completed 35 years of teaching in public school. I have had moments of joy and sadness. In my career I have tragically experienced the deaths of a few students and teachers. I have shared the joys of teachers as they married, had children, and advanced in their careers. I have shared so many wonderful experiences with staff, teachers, parents and students. I am thrilled that I have seen such growth in so many young people. I shall miss these connections.
I am 100% sure that I am making the right decision for me. I look forward to new joys and experiences. I have a plan. It is to not make any specific plans.
Not much sleep last night. Yesterday I had a great conversation with one friend. Then I stayed up late to catch up with another good friend. I had difficulty winding down and sleep did not come easy. When I woke this morning I was still so very tired. But I was happy in the knowledge that I have only three more mornings to go to work.
I will miss the students, the nice co-workers, the lessons, and the aha moments. I think I will actually miss having a place to go to in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe not. I can feel the shift in priorities in my body. I have always been an early riser. If I wake too early I read, clean, or prep lessons. No more of the latter. If I am tired in the future I shall just hang out until I feel like getting up. Or I will get up, do something, and then go back to bed. Hmmmm
I am tired of correcting papers all hours of the day and night. I look forward to being tired because I stayed up late enjoying a good book. I am tired of wondering what I will need to get done before the morning. I look forward to being tired from working in my gardens. My body is changing and readying itself for a new way to live. I want to have more days of tired on my terms and maybe some days without tired at all. One can hope.
I am exhausted from cleaning out my classroom. I have been purging, donating, gifting, and bringing home things. My garage looks like a tornado hit it. I guess I already have a school chore to do once I am retired. It is OK I actually like sorting and organizing. I am giving my daughter, also a teacher, items for her classroom. I am sending many books to cousins who have little ones visiting them often. I am gifting many things to my students. They are enjoying the treats.
After school I managed to get two very important tasks accomplished. I am grateful that my little ducks are lining up so nicely. It meant I missed the SARK call which is a little disappointing. I shall watch the replay. I am so very grateful for yet another wonderful woman in my life.
It was a good day. Much was accomplished. I am tired. It is a good tired.
Just a short blog to end a long fun weekend. I am not who I was a year ago. I am grateful for that. I make decisions that will make me happy easier than I used to. I accept the caring thoughts and feelings of kind people without questioning if I deserve them. I am working at setting boundaries that make me comfortable. I spend more time in joy than in sadness.
I am setting myself up for success in retirement. I have lots and lots of things to do if and when I feel like doing them. I am also OK if I choose to do nothing for a period of time. I have planned a special meal out with my spouse to celebrate. I have planned a special evening out with my cousin to celebrate. I have a card waiting for me to open it on June 1. I have a line of books to read until midnight or one am if I feel like it. I have plans. I am ready for the leap. It is coming in such a short time. I have two full days and one half day until I am a retired woman.
I am so grateful that I have a new to me car. It is large enough to take the grand kids on an outing or a trip. Now I need to figure out what to do with my Scion. I am grateful I have a new laptop. I am using it now and it WORKS. Yippee. New leaps. New joy.
Today is my birthday. Today I am grateful for growth. I am grateful for this day not being one of pain and heartache. It’s a day of joy. The joy one feels when your heart is not being crushed. The joy one feels when you realize you have a great deal of control over your emotions.
I have joy today because there are so many wonderful people in my life. I have cousins who rejoice in my happiness. They know exactly who I am, what I have been through, and where I am going. I have long time friends who extend their kind hearts to me. They have known me and stood by me in times of great sorrow and wonderful joy. I have new friends I did not even know a year ago. I cannot fathom what my life would be without them. All these women are a huge part of who I am now, on this the 65th day of my journey. I have so much gratitude for my life as it is today. A year ago I did not know this happiness would be possible.
After making breakfast, I needed to go to my classroom to pick up my computer and get the cake I forgot in the fridge. I knew there were activities going on, on campus, so I could get into my class without sounding the alarm. As I looked over all that still needed to be done, for a split second thought I should stay and work. The fleeting thought passed quickly.
I decided I would like to hit a thrift store next. It is always a fun way for me to begin my day. I found some DVD seasons that I had been looking for. It was a successful outing.
Next on the agenda was to go and test drive a FLEX. I have been contemplating my next vehicle for about two years. My old car still makes me happy but the idea of entering my next phase with a new or new to me car sounded appealing. After the test drive of the new car I wanted to see the used cars they had in stock. The first used car was only two years old but it had obviously been used and abused. I decided if indeed I was willing to purchase a used car I had some research to do. My spouse had already been looking for me and had a good idea of prices. He then showed me a one year old car with lots of bells and whistles that was in very good shape. I can honestly say I did not have new car fever. I explained to the salesman that I needed to see what other used cars were available. We sat outside while the salesman looked up the price of adding a luggage rack. My spouse did some research online as to what used cars were going for and what was available. Of course the manager came over and asked what the car did not have that I wanted. I explained that I liked the luggage rack on the other two models. So of course he asked if he threw in a luggage rack would we make the deal. After research had been done I gave it some thought and said yes.
This was not my plan for the day. But I have no buyers remorse at all. I am very happy that I have made another leap into my next phase. It feels like they are occurring more frequently and with more ease.
These last days have been so unexpected. I got things done I didn’t expect to do. I did not accomplish all I wanted to which frustrated me. It seems that now that the major big things are done the rest seem inconsequential. I am in a weird state of flux.
I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the retirement party. I am not one who likes being in the spotlight. It felt good to be roasted though. The talents of my staff never cease to amaze me. The kindness from all those around me was unexpected. I guess it is just not my normal to be lavished in that manner.
I continue to work on cleaning out my classroom. I have always been on the lookout for supplies to create labs and now to discard unused paraphernalia is unexpectedly difficult. I have organized seventeen chapters worth of materials. I am shocked with all I have accumulated. I have cleaned out all 16+ drawers already. I have yet to finish cleaning my science storage room. It has been a little unexpected how some people are trying to stake a claim on my supplies. But as I firmly believe, it is not my problem anymore.
I wrote thank you cards tonight and I was unexpectedly emotional. I shall miss these people and the time I have spent with them. I have enjoyed sharing my lessons, my baking, and my Jewish traditions with them. It meant a lot to me to have them say they will miss these things also.
I am now in a state of calm about finishing lessons. I am in a state of stress to clean everything out. I am in a state of excitement for June 1st. I am in a mellow state facing retirement.
3 1/2 days to go