After 36 years in education, I decided to retire. That was six years ago and I have not looked back! Not once. Nada. Zilch. Never. Really.
I remember how I labored over the decision to retire. Will we be able to live on retirement funds? What will I do to entertain myself? How will I fill my days? I remember thinking that I was too young to retire…too young to embrace my golden years…too young to be a ‘Golden Girl’.
As a high school administrator, I sometimes dealt with some pretty challenging students. But, one day a student I was sending home for fighting yelled at me, calling me “a skinny white ass bitch.” This wouldn’t be so bad except it was the 2nd time that week a student had referred to me in an unflattering light. All of a sudden… I snapped! I mean ‘it clicked’. I’m ready to retire! I’m outta here!
It’s amazing how free I felt once I made the decision and scheduled my appointment at TRS. I was taking my skinny white ass to retirement!
At first, I tried to make a plan for what to do in my golden years. I signed up for training to be a substitute principal. I took training to be a volunteer. I said ‘yes’ to friends’ invitations for book clubs, at home parties, babysitting grandkids…I had my day scheduled from 8-5. A few months into my ‘golden years’, I broke down in tears. “I’m overwhelmed”, I whined. “I’m tired!! This isn’t at all like I thought it would be!” My husband, (comfy in his recliner) nonchalantly said, “Your problem is, you just don’t know how to relax.” And he was right!
Well, I did some changing. I started saying no to things that I really didn’t want to do and yes to my new and improved life. Yes to cruises, ski trips, vacations to the Florida Keys, yes to volunteering, yes to writing workshops, yes to exercising every day! I’ve made a vow to never go to HEB on weekends or in the evening. I’ve decided that playing with my grandchildren will keep me young forever. I’ve concluded that it’s OK to drink wine and eat chocolate on a school night.
Yes, I’ve taken to retirement like a duck to water or should I say, a cruise ship to the ocean? I’ve decided “me” time is anytime. I’ve made a commitment to enjoy every day I have left on this earth and so far… I think I’m doing a bang up job!