Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The End Is Near

I have not become a prophet who is predicting the end of the world.  I am just a very tired retired teacher who decided to come out of retirement and teach for a semester.  I am barely hanging in there until the end.  Thankfully, the end (of the semester) is near.

 I made the decision to go back to work because:
  • The job was part time. In truth, I taught four straight hours a day.  With preparation time and etc., I worked five or six hours a day.  
  • I missed working with students.  This is true I did.  I have loved working with students.
  • I missed working with colleagues.  This is also true.  I have loved working with my colleagues.
  • I wanted to stay busy during the winter.  I've kept busy and that is a good thing.
  • I wanted to make some extra money.  Adjunct professors are paid ridiculously low salaries.  It really was not financially worth my time to work for what I was paid.  (I had to hire a housekeeper to keep up with the house while I was working.  Her hourly rate of pay is higher than mine!)
I've had a great semester.  One I would not have wanted to miss out on.  I have had the most wonderful students from three different countries that you can ever imagine.  We have worked hard together.  We have learned much from each other.  We have laughed often and had a lot of learning adventures.  Now, we are coming to the end of our days together.  That is always a very bittersweet thing.  I love the students.  I love the work.  I am also extremely tired.  My energy levels are not what they once were.

My husband also came out of retirement and has been working full-time this semester.  He is also exhausted.  We seem to be going to bed earlier and earlier every night.  Since Spring Break, we've just been barely hanging on.  

Last week, on facebook,  I posted this photo of the two of us that was taken one year ago while we were in Vienna, Austria.  I heard my husband, who never swears, say something about 'hell' after he saw the photo.  From my study, I called out, "What did you just say?"  He answered with, "We look like hell compared to how we looked a year ago."  

Sadly, he is right.  I know I have aged considerably since then.  I lost a child. I have spent most of the last year trying to grieve and heal from that shock.  My husband has been right there by my side throughout it all.

Then, we went back to work.  That was a good thing.  We both needed to get out among kids, educators, and do what we do best.  We are so grateful that we were able to use our skills to help others and to help ourselves heal.  

We are now really ready to go back to retirement.  Thankfully, we are seeing the light at the end of tunnel.  Tomorrow is my last official class.  We have a party on Friday at my home.  Next week we will have the final.  Then, I am finished with teaching.  Jim has to work until the end of May. 

We hope to resume the lives we had in retirement.  We need to get back to the gym.  The yard needs a lot of work.  We want to go fishing.  We want to take a few small trips.  We want to stay up late if we want to.  We want to get up without hearing the alarm go off.  We are ready to be retired again.  The end of our working days is near.  The beginning of enjoying retirement is finally returning.  

This time I really think we won't go back to work again.  We agree with the governor who decided not to run for president.  We just don't have the "fire in the belly" to keep working in education like we once did.  Thankfully, we have options.  After working for a season, we now choose to return to retirement.

22 comments:

Joanne said...

HOw lucky were your students! what a gift you are to them! I am so glad that you had a chance to teach and that now you will get to do all things that will make you happy. together with your husband you will make tons of sweet memories. Got room for one more? just for a little while...I hate that alarm clock!!!!!! :o) Blessings, Joanne

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It's a blessing to have choices, isn't it! Enjoy your second retirement!

Charlene said...

Not having a picture of you two now I cannot offer an opinion but I just watched Oprah today where she reviewed a plan that if you follow it faithfully you will look 20 years younger. The main component is exercising 300 minutes a week.

Sightings said...

Your post reminds me of the song ... School's Out for the Summer! Great song; great feeling.

DJan said...

I am glad to hear you are returning to retirement. I myself don't think I would take well to getting back into working mode, since I am enjoying my retirement so much! Sometimes we just need to go back for awhile to realize it's not what we really want... hugs to you, Sally.

Kay said...

I agree that your students were lucky to have you. However, I also agree with you that retirement is a lovely thing too. For several years after I retired I kept thinking about subbing or maybe teaching in Hawaii. But something held me back. I'm enjoying my life now and I don't want to give it up.

I think it's great you've had this opportunity to teach again, but aren't you lucky that you have the option of being able to retire?

That is a beautiful photo of the two of you, by the way.

Linda Reeder said...

You returned to service for good reasons, and you have good reasons to resume retirement. You are making wise choices, and it is a blessing to have those choices.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Sally, Well---even though you are tired, I'm sure your students really enjoyed having you. We NEED teachers who are passionate about their work.

BUT--since I have been retired since 2003, I couldn't go back to work now for ANYTHING in the world. Besides, I'm too busy now doing the things which I never did before...

God Bless YOU and your Hubby---two of our greatest teachers...

NOW---get some REST....
Hugs,
Betsy

Linda Myers said...

I love having choices! And how great that you tried it out again and decided you've had enough for now.

#1Nana said...

I'm still having work fantasies, but never bad enough that I go the extra step to make a phone call or update my resume. Welcome back to the world of retirement. With more free time you might write more. I always look forward to what you have to say.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I can only imagine that your second retirement will be even sweeter. It sounds like going back to work this semester was rewarding, healing, exhausting and instructive for both of you -- and now you're returning to your retirement. So wonderful that you have choices and that you have positive memories and experiences from your foray back into the work world.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am glad your working venture is coming to a close. It gave you what you needed at the time but it also took from you.
All the things you look forward to now are the blessings of retirement. Relax, enjoy, and you will regain that look you had before.

Olga said...

It is a wonder to me how much teaching can sap energy. I often miss the work, but not the job.
I feel healthier and much more energetic in retirement. But really, for me, it's all about waking up without the bleating of an alarm clock.

KathyA said...

I've thought about going back (for all of the same reasons) and doing some long-term sub-ing, but remember all too well that teaching is a 20-hour a day job with prep time and then grading pieces in a timely manner to get them back to the students.
I think your husband's comment is very funny. Very fitting, but very funny!

Bossy Betty said...

If only there was a balance in teaching, but it seems like it is all or nothing. It is a profession that takes so much energy. I am sure your students benefitted from your expertise and now, just think how much sweeter that retirement time will be!!!

troutbirder said...

We too enjoy our retirements. My spouse as the community caretaker, fixer upper and mom helper. I by hiking, birding, fishing et. all. I guess my perspective is narrower and perhaps too self centered.
We also lost our eldest son 13 years ago now to the territble effect of bi-polar.
Your might be interested in my review of Margaret Georges new historical novel Elizabeth I. It's very well done. Being married to an English teacher myself, I know you folks like good books. :)

Deb Shucka said...

What a wonderfully insightful and reflective piece. Isn't it amazing at our age how everything shows on our faces, whether we want it to or not? Blessings to you both. Sending love and light your way.

Jeanie said...

Oh, dear -- I posted a long comment and went on to the next post before I did the verification word. I simply said, good for you. You did the right thing, I think -- you'd always wonder "Should we have gone back?" Well, you did and it met the needs you set out. Now you are ready for sure.

So I send good wishes on a decision well considered. And a smile.

dkzody said...

People often say they don't know how they had time to work, they stay so busy in retirement. Although not terribly busy, I too wonder how I would have managed this past year had I been working. I was needed in too many places, during work hours, to have kept a job going. There comes a time in our lives that we must say, we did our job, and now let's do something else.

KleinsteMotte said...

Now I hope you recover fast from your working days so that you can again look and feel much better. You learned a great deal about yourselves while trying to work and now you can retire with a new wisdom. Enjoy the future .

gayle said...

6 more weeks for me and I am off for the summer!! I can't wait! This class of 1st graders has taken toll on me!!

gayle said...

I am happy for you that you will be retiring again soon!