Retirement. That’s not a word one necessarily hears at my age. But, here I am. As of the end of June I will have completed 28 years in education in South Carolina, and I have decided it’s time to retire. Taking into account unused vacation time, my last day in our school district will be June 14. Actually, it will be June 13, because that’s our first 4-day week of the summer.
This all happened rather quickly, and it still doesn’t seem quite real yet. I’m still coming to terms with a very flexible schedule and what that means for all the projects I’ve been trying to juggle outside of work. There are book projects, music to write, photos to take, rivers to paddle, ghost towns to explore, and blog posts to publish. I won’t go lacking for things to keep me occupied. I might even get back into choir directing or decide to find some other job, but I won’t be in any big hurry.
In the meantime I’m assessing my post-retirement tech needs. I’ve upgraded the cameras in the past year, somewhat in anticipation of this date. I have my iMac at home, but my Kindle, iPhone, Macbook and iPad belong to work. I’ll have to turn all of those in. I don’t feel a great need for an iPad, but I do like having an e-reader. I may look at the Kindle Fire. I just replaced my aging Android phone with an iPhone to match the one from work, so I’m good there. Now I just lack the Macbook. That may have to come next.
Long, long ago, when I was taking an education course at Furman on Human Development, I read that often an adolescent’s first encounter with mortality comes when they decide upon one career. By the time someone reaches my stage, at the end of one’s career, that sense of mortality is ever-present. I know I’m still very young to be retired. However, it’s been a rough three years, with family deaths, deaths of friends, and serious health issues in our family. I was on a video conference call with a colleague just today, and the thought when I saw myself on the monitor was that I look old. Either this job has aged me, or I’ve just not been aware of the passage of the past 15 years as a school administrator. Those same years would have passed even if I’d stayed in the classroom. Who knows how I might have looked, though.
So, new horizons, and new opportunities await. The next six weeks will pass quickly. Then it will be time to do some rambling.