Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Joy of Each Day

I have been writing about the options I have when I retire at the end of this year.  After teaching for 43 years, it is not an easy task to think about what to do differently or what to do at all.  That is why I thought just writing about my thoughts might help to solve this problem.

Today was one of those picture perfect days with the sun shining and the sky a beautiful blue.  Being in January instead of June brought its complications, but it also brought its advantages.  I bundled up to face the sunny, but cold 35 degree weather.  It was a day just made to walk my dog, Dave, a two-year-old golden retriever.

Not only did Dave and I have a great walk, we had three great walks.  Our first one was early this morning at 6:30.  Since it was Sunday, there were no cars, people or other animals out and about to distract us from our mission.  That mission was to walk around the neighborhood for a two mile walk.  Dave was mostly off lease, so he ran free checking out the smells and looking for new liter added to the streets.  It was cold, but not windy, so it was an enjoyable walk.

Later at about 1:00, we took another walk.  This one was in the sun and there were people, cars and even a few animals.  Dave was still off lease but not as often.  He ran to some kids playing in their driveway.  He got into "heel" position when a car would drive by and he had to get on lease when there was some animal tempting him to act like a dog.  This time I didn't have to dress in quite as many layers.  It was warmer.

Our last walk of the day was at 4:30.  It was getting cooler again.  But we still enjoyed our last chance to be outside.  The sun was beginning to set and dusk was upon us.  Still, we enjoyed the time to just walk and see the neighborhood close down for the night.

The reason I wanted to include this observation in my What Next reports is because as I look forward to what is next for me after the life of a teacher/coach, I realize I need to keep focused on what I have today also.  Each day brings it's own blessings and joys.  I don't want to get so absorbed in the future that I forget to enjoy today! 

I think that is what Dave and I did today!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Option # Two

Another option that was suggested to me was to move to NYC.  Okay, not just to visit or even just live there, but to actually work in NYC.  The suggestion was made to me when I asked advise from one of my consultant/author friends.  He said I should go to New York and work for Teachers College at Columbia University as a staff developer.  It really is similar to what I am doing now.

I gave him all sorts of reasons why I couldn't do that: my husband has a career too, I have Dave, my dog to think about, I have a home that I love here in Indiana.  He proceeded to disspell all of those reasons.  It began to sound more and more inviting.  When I asked my husband about moving he said, "If that is where you are going to be, I will go too."  Not exactly excited about the option, but willing to try.  What a guy!

Actually, for a few days we really did consider that choice.  We looked online for apartments.  We talked about how he could do his work from the Big Apple.  We looked for apartments that would take dogs and be near a park.  How exciting to be on the ground floor of all the new thinking that Lucy Calkins and her group do.

Then reality hit.  Did I really want to live in a small apartment so far from the grandkids?  Did I really want to get up early in the morning and travel across the city on the subway?  Is that what retirement really meant for me?

It was fun to dream...but I don't think I will be shopping in delis, live in a tiny apartment, and walked Dave in Central Park!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Option # One

One of the possible option is to work as a consultant for other school districts.  When I told some of my friends from the All Write Consortium that I was planning to retire in another year, they immediately wanted to sign up to "buy" some of my days.  By doing that, I would agree to work for them for a set amount of days for a set amount of money.

Sounds pretty good, right?  Well, maybe.  First of all, I have some conditions.  I do NOT want to drive in the horrible winter weather any more.  Second, I only want to do things that interest me.  I do NOT want to substitute teach.  I would like to help other districts with curriculum and data.  That does interest me. 

So, that is one of the choices I have.  I could do that for just a few days and even work from home on some projects.  I have not ruled this option out.  I have not really advertised doing it either.  Not sure I want to do it for many, many days.  But it might be interersting and fun to work with other districts and see what is happening out there in the education world.

Just one option.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Possible Directions

When thinking about retirement there are various directions in which to proceed. Many people look to retirement as a time to spend catching up on hobbies. Others look at it as a time to pursue a career option they had not had time to check out. Some look at it as a time to just relax and rest. None of these are bad ideas. Infect, they are good ideas. My problem is that I'm not sure what my direction is yet.

As far as hobbies, I like to read, but I can't see myself reading every day...not even a book I can't put down. I like to crochet, but only for short spurts of time. I love to walk my dog and exercise, but my doctor has already told me not to do that for eight hours a day.

I have no other career choices that interest me. I believe I was born to be a teacher/coach. To me, the career I've had for 43 years was perfect for me. I have no desire to do anything else.

I do like to relax. And I do enjoy sitting around the pool, but there are only so many warm, sunny days. I think even relaxing would get old after awhile.

So here I am back at square one. What's next for me? Tomorrow I'll share some avenues I've been exploring. Some are possibilities and some are doors I've been opening.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Start

It's time to begin thinking about what comes next.

My thoughts are that I will explore, in writing, my options. I will take this on as an adventure. I will write about choices, both good and bad.

I am sure when I find my passion and what God has planned for me, I'll know it

Until we go!