Retirement is an odd event. This event provides: The joy of sleeping without an alarm clock jolting one awake; the joy of relishing a hobby…skill…interest leisurely; and, the joy of finding the time to go on adventures.
Even so, retirement is an exhausting event, for so many reasons.
It requires emptying the desk and throwing away papers which make you wonder “what the heck what I thinking” before making a 3 pointer in the waste basket. The desk and filing cabinet are cousins, only the filing cabinet is far more painful.
The filing cabinet holds years of decisions, receipts, memos, letters written, ledgers, and just about anything which someone gave you and had no other place to go.
It is somewhat like purging one’s soul and alimentary system.
Then there is enduring the “Farewell Party” with its gaudy CostCo cake, party decorations, hugging people—some of whom you could not stand then or now, and walking out the door. Your boxes, calendar, photos, memorabilia from the Hawaii vacation, and whatever have been packed await you.
After teaching for twenty years, this is exactly what I did.
My almost-adult kids unloaded all the above, stacked the boxes on a sturdy shelf unit, and that was it. Some boxes were actually personal, so they saw the light of day.
But the others? They stayed silent and dusty for about fifteen years.
Now, we are cleaning out the garage. Those boxes are being pulled out one by one, opened with surprise.
One surprise was that I had been extremely organized back then. Since my book collection was once a dozen full boxes holding excellent well-written student literature, it had been condensed to eight boxes, after giving away the rest to a nearby Christian school.
|Some of the precious pieces from several boxes|
Unit on bears (which also taught about Northwest Tribes, longitude and latitude) had been tucked away for some use later (what, I don’t know).
Units on Ireland (literature, language, history, Irish student textbooks) neatly surrounded by lesson plans and cards of commonly used Gaelic words.
Units on…just about any State Framework curriculum requirement.
Is it painful? You bet.
Is it amazing? Oh yes.
But most of all, it is liberating.
It is closing a door on a wonderful twenty years where both the students and I learned so much.
I did keep a box or two—one to give to my granddaughters and one for me.