Sitting at the breakfast table this morning, a thought came to me very suddenly; I am beginning to enjoy retirement. It is now almost exactly six months since I walked out of the last school I will ever teach in and settled to a life of finding things to do that would fill the void. It finally dawned – this ‘altered state’ – when Hubby said casually,
“Is it really 10 o’clock? Now you really must feel as though you’ve retired!”
I grinned, thought for a moment and agreed. It took me a while. At first, it had been in the back of my mind that I ought to be doing something. I found myself thinking ‘I would normally be doing [insert school-based activity] at this point’ or ‘I wonder if [insert school-based activity] is still going to happen this term’. It suddenly became clear, this morning at the breakfast table, that I haven’t had one of those thoughts for a while now, probably since before Christmas. I have lent a hand, from home, with some ‘computery stuff’ that I had initiated in the first place, but I don’t mind that. If there’s one thing I do miss it’s creating resources for the classroom or for colleagues. What I don’t miss is the speed at which some of these activities needed to be done or the possible fallout if they didn’t work first time!
Although I still miss the camaraderie and my mad fellow teachers, I have now doffed the ‘member of the profession’ bit and I am settling into that very important new phase of my life. I have heard from others that, after you retire, you suddenly find so much to do that you wonder how you ever managed to find the time to go to work. I haven’t quite reached that stage … yet. There are things that I do on a Tuesday and a Wednesday that are not shopping or housework. I also have the time, each day, to make the bed (yes I have said it before but it’s very special to me!), empty and refill the dishwasher, do the washing AND drying on the same day and prepare the night’s dinner at any time during the day that I damned well please! Going away for a couple of breaks in term time last year was my way of rebelling – snubbing my nose, if you like. Now, I am settling into more of a routine and it fits well.
So, goodbye to waking up at 6.20 am because I have to, to wasting half a day (at the very least) doing the shopping at the weekends because I don’t have the time (or energy) during the week, to arriving at 8 pm on Sunday night and remembering that very important something that I forgot to do for Monday – and hello to retirement.