First Day of Retirement

How I Spent My First Day of Retirement

 Kind of sounds like the composition topic the nuns used to give when I was in elementary school.  I knew that this day was coming and I must admit that I had given some thought to how I would spend the day.

 Would I get up early because my body’s school clock had always been set for 4:30? 

Would I sit at the table enjoying a cup of coffee as I watched the school bus pick up the neighbor across the street?  Would I still be in bed with a smile on my face as the bus came and went?

 Well, none of these things happened.  I did set the alarm for 6:00, not because of loyalty to my former co-workers, but because my wife was scheduled for an eye laser treatment.  She had cloudiness in her left eye.  She was scheduled for an 8:30 but we had to be at the surgery center for 8:00. Everything went well and we were out of there by 10:30.  We were both hungry since we didn’t have much of a breakfast before we left.  A stop at Dunkin Donuts was called for.  After a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip muffin, I felt a whole lot better.

 We decided to come home then because we were both a bit tired.  I admit that I am not used to getting up at 6:00.  We both took a little nap.  I know, whip me with a wet noodle. 

 We then had to get ready for dinner.  I had decided in June that when the first day of school rolled around I was going to treat myself to dinner at the Harvest at the Hotel Hershey.  I thought that this would be a good way to celebrate what I am considering as my first day of retirement.  I knew that there was a chocolate martini (is there a chocolate theme going on here?) and a Salmon fillet with my name on it.

 Did I miss the excitement of meeting new students?  Yes, a little.  Will I miss the great staff I worked with?  Definitely.  Do I have second thoughts about retiring?  Not at all.

 In July the Capital Area Writing Project Summer Institute met at the Hershey Gardens for a morning writing marathon.  I was fortunate enough to be able to join them.  My mind was on retirement even then so here is something I wrote in the Garden.  Haven’t done any work on it since then.



R – Realizing that the alarm no longer needs to be set.

E – Entering a new and exciting phase of life.

T- Trading shirt, jacket, and tie for tee shirts and sweats.

I –Inventing creative names for doing nothing at all.

R – Recognizing that time, for the most part, no longer plays an important part in the scheme of the day.

E – Entertaining thoughts of what needs to be done, but choosing to do whatever I want.

M – Meandering from room, project to project, sometimes accomplishing nothing at all.

E –Eating lunch when I wan t, not just because the clock strikes 11:28.

N –Needing less, but having so much more.

T – Thinking, “Why did I wait so long?”

 Now it’s time to start thinking about the rest of my life.  First up – the presentation I am doing at the PCTELA conference at State College in October.  If you get a chance to go, please stop and say “Hello.”



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5 responses to “First Day of Retirement

  1. I was very interested in your piece because I have retirement planned at the end of this year….right now I am feeling lots of angst about it….it sounds like you are still out their leading. I hope that is what I will be doing too. xo

  2. It is a difficult decision to make, but somehow you know when the time is right. I wish you well in your last year in the classroom.

  3. I am still several years from retirement, but I can very much relate to your post! I just finished a year of maternity leave, and am going to take an “extended parental leave” this year, so no back to school for me this year either. I went into the school the other day and every one was there setting up their classrooms, painting bulletin boards, and generally getting ready. For the first time I felt sad about not going back. Like you, I have plans for the first day. It’s all the days after that I am thinking about now! Enjoy your new lifestyle!

  4. Ease into this freedom of time, summer was a great warm-up period. Yes, one misses the kids and comrades, but there is joy in having your own time to plan.

  5. Jaana

    It is definitely time to celebrate. Look back with pride; think of all the students you encountered and the difference you made! Enjoy the chocolate martini!

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