It was one year ago today that I hung up my lesson plan book and retired from teaching. It has been a year of naps and solitude. It has been delicious! Oh sure, I’ll have coffee with the occasional friend from time to time and go geocaching with other friends but for the most part I’ve kept to myself (and Lynn of course). I guess I’ve come full circle.
When I grew up in Lousa County, I lived miles from the closest kid my age and my mother was not a driver. So as many of you know, I grew up lonely. Being alone is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives you time to sort through life and file random bits and happenings in an effort to make sense of it all. That’s what this year has been about. The danger of course is that you spend too much time in your head but I gotta a big head.
It was weird at first, I must admit. After school ended I had three weeks of time off before training for my part time job started so it was like I was any other teacher for those first few weeks. When the training started it was full time but it was all at home. After the six weeks of training, I started my part time schedule that was from 1PM – 8PM. I don’t know that I ever got used to that schedule and it played havoc with my sleeping, exercise and eating habits. The result was added weight so bicycling along with geocaching were all but taken off the table. If you add in some chronic health problems then it’s a recipe for becoming a bit of a hermit.
The good news is that starting in April my shift went to 7AM – 1:30 PM. It’s take me a month to get back on track sleeping and health-wise. In regards to my job, it has been awesome!! I work with some really neat people and we chat all during our shift while we work using the instant messenger.
So now I’m on a quest to eat better, exercise more AND spend more time with friends and family. Today, since it was going to be near 95 degrees, Cookie and I grabbed our GPS’ and headed over to the trail system in and around the lakes at Innsbrook.
Someone had released a whole series of geocaches along the trail system, so we decided to find what we could until we got too hot and that way we would be close to home. Despite the heat, it was a glorious day! I didn’t realize what a draw these trails were even though they have been there for along time. We saw about a dozen guys there with their wives and girlfriends racing radio controlled sailboats. They were so intent on racing their boats that they weren’t looking where they were going and would almost run over you.
We saw a dad and his two sons fishing. Well the dad was fishing and the two boys were looking under rocks and horsing around. They reminded me of a young Will (Willie to some of you) who used to create all kinds of havoc while his dad was fishing over 40 or so years ago. There were others dog walking AND geocaching!! We couldn’t find one of the geocaches after a long look. We happened to notice in one of the geocache logs we were signing that one our friends had been there today. We gave him a ring and he was on the other side of the lake. He gave us a hint and told us it was getting too hot for him, too!!
There was also a guy on a paddle board trolling around the lake. It looked like a lot of fun but I’m not sure it was exactly legal for him to be there.
We came home and had blt sandwiches and leftover homemade cherry pie. Naps ensued.
Do I miss teaching? Of course I do. I miss the kids and my teacher friends so much. However this past year of quiet has been wonderful; not exactly physically healthy but soulfully wonderful. Since my schedule change, Cookie and I have gone geocaching more, gone to a ball game, the botanical gardens and worked on our yard and house. We’ve seen tons of movies and read book after book. We live a simple, comfortable life. We can’t travel the world or go on cruises but we can do quiet lunch time crosswords, have coffee with friends and go out for hikes and lunches and the occasional movie. I’m pretty happy with that.
Now it’s up to me to get back in some sort of shape so I can get back on the bike and ride with my friends. I miss my biking friends as well.
That’s been my first year of retirement. Other than a health problem here or there it’s been pretty great.