On Thursday, June 7, 2018, I reached a major milestone in my life. My last milestone was turning 50 five years ago. On this day (Thursday) I retired from my teaching career of 18 years. Oh my where to begin.
“You’re too young to retire!”
One of the major responses I would get when people knew I was retiring was, “You’re too young to retire!” Hmmm….actually no and here is why:
- From the time Michael and I were married in 1988 we lived within our means and not beyond.
- We made smart financial decisions with our money and investing.
- Our only outstanding bill is our mortgage. We pay for everything outright.
- Example: Our cars..both are paid for and we will drive them to the ground. Meaning we don’t buy a new car every few years.
- Credit cards bills are paid in full each month.
- We didn’t go on lavish vacations 4 times a year and pay thousands of dollars.
These are just a few of the reasons that come to mind right now. But, I will say we worked hard to get where we are today and that meant some sacrifice on both our parts.
How I Am Feeling Right Now
It’s very surreal. I’m a gambit of emotions and I feel extremely vulnerable right now. It’s thrilling yet terrifying at the same time. Before I left my classroom, I sat in my chair at my desk for the longest time. I just looked around and thought about all the students that occupied those chairs throughout the years. It was almost overwhelming. I started to question myself. Was I good teacher? Did I do right by my students? I think the answer is Yes.
I suppose one of the hardest things for me is leaving my 7th grade team. I’ve worked with these people for a very long time and I will miss them dearly. We’ve shared our highs and lows and our families. They were my support network. I’m probably going to be processing this for a while.
Things I Don’t Need to Worry About Anymore
On a lighter note, I came up with this list of I can… and No more… one evening after grading a bunch of papers. It was quite validating to write these down. They aren’t in any particular order, but each has its own significance.
- I can refill my coffee cup whenever I want.
- I can pee whenever I want.
- I don’t need to wear a bra everyday.
- No need to set the alarm for 5:15 a.m. M-F.
- No more paper grading over the weekends.
- I’ll just have my personal e-mail account.
- I can go to sleep whenever I want.
- I can sleep in if I want (I really can sleep past 7:30 a.m.)
- No more anxiety on Sundays.
- Last time I HAVE to do grocery shopping on the weekend.
- I don’t have to auto program the coffee maker for the morning.
- I don’t have to drink coffee from a travel mug anymore.
- I won’t be cut off by drivers trying to merge from the right lane at the last minute.
I’m sure there is a lot more I can add to this list, but this is it for now.
This is a great card given to me by my co-workers. It’s so appropriate. I plan on doing each of the things listed and more.
Well for now that is all. Writing this was therapeutic for me. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Where are you in occupation journey? I’d love to hear!