In the past, when I turned the calendar page from July to August, I felt as though the summer was coming to a close. With barely 3 weeks to go until I had to return to school for the 3 days for teachers only (meetings, set-up, organization, etc.) my freedom was coming to an end. When the days of August reached double digits, there was nothing anyone could do to restore my spirit. I was inconsolable … school was around the corner. Not that I dreaded the teaching, the students or the staff; it was simply the end of summer, which had always been a time to renew, restore, review and relax. Beach and bike riding. Corn on the cob. Ice cream at 10 pm. Fireworks and outdoor shows. Shorts and t-shirts.
Now there is no Back to School for me! As I enter my third year of retirement, I have no dread of the end of summer; for me, it lasts as long as the weather does.
At the farmer’s market today, I saw Zulma, the mother of one of my daughter’s friends. She had a big smile on her face as I asked her how things were. “I’m retired now!” she beamed. We both hugged and remembered how we used to approach the end of August with trepidation for many years!
At the Y where I swim, I saw my friend, Colleen, a retired phys ed teacher. She, too, big smile on her face and we both enjoyed talking about the lazy days of summer stretching into Sept., maybe Oct. if we’re lucky.
So, yes, I miss my school friends and the rewards I got for teaching well. I miss greeting the new class each year and seeing them off in June. I miss the teacher talk in the lounge, and the social activities we participated in. But I don’t miss the dreaded feeling, after a beautiful summer, of having to pack my school bag, get into my “grown-up” clothes and head back to work.
So, it’s Back to School for many; but for this former teacher, it’s just another day to enjoy my retirement!