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.