Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the luxury of time

In a recent post I shared that retirement is not a walk in the park. Well, it is a walk in the park but it is even more than that...and less. Here is the link to that entry in which I outline some research into retirement:


Today I want to talk about what exactly I do with my days, and how I feel about those decisions. Let's start with a visual..................

Very true. After working my entire adult life, there is nothing I must do today. Every task, every job, every project can be rearranged in the giant TO DO list in my brain. What luxury!

I spent almost 30 years teaching in the public schools. My work week was 40 hours on paper, but we all know how that goes. Let's call it 6o hours, okay? During the work day, I taught 6-7 classes a day (each day??? I can hear those college professors gasping in horror) and each class was started and ended with an eardrum straining bell. During each of those 6-7 classes, each day, I spent 1-2 minutes doing roll and checking details, listening to concerns, adding to my "take this to the office" list, and in general, keeping a lid on the class. Then 3-10 minutes to introduce the lesson, then give lab directions or a lecture, or assignment or activity, then manage the 28 kids as they did the lesson. At the end, I spent a few minutes reinforcing main points, giving answers, or listening to group reports. Bell rings, class leaves, start again.

Over and over and over. And over.

It is no wonder that I make lists and keep track of details and love to check off what's been done, and highlight what still needs to be done. I would probably make lists of my lists, but I know that is straying into therapy territory and I really can't afford the co-pay anymore.

In my new life, I plan for time with my husband, weekly meals, shopping and cooking, pets, cleaning, family updates, time with friends, hobbies, and community activities. I help with some of the paperwork, and some of the vehicle chores. I do some yardwork and am the one who plants and cares for the potted plants each summer.

My life has not changed much at all-this is exactly what I did while working full time. I did those chores in a frenzy on Saturdays, or before work, or even during my prep periods at school. Today I have the luxury of time, and for that, I am so very grateful.

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