There aren't many times in your life you can truly say you've got a blank slate to write the rest of your life on. One of those times is the transition out of grade 12. The other is staring me right in the face - retirement. Lots of teachers just get very tired out over the years (it's an extremely draining job emotionally, intellectually and physically) but I can honestly say I'm not. Of course, as an online teacher the same factors don't come into play. Sooner or later most people have to retire and I didn't want to wait too much longer. My job developing the online program has been fulfilling but not very demanding of late. I didn't really feel like I was ready for retirement (the land of the old and useless I once heard). But I am ready for something different.
So, I submitted my letter and started filling the recycling bins with years of lesson ideas, workshop handouts and worksheet masters. Then I started asking "now what?". Just like when I graduated from Gr. 12 - the possibilities are endless. I'm not worried about being bored - I seldom am - and I'm not concerned with 'keeping busy', it's more a feeling of having infinite choices and wanting to pick some good ones while still remaining a productive member of society. I'm also not so much into the bucket list concept - sure there are things I'd like to do but lists seem too much like chores and I'd prefer to choose based on whimsy or impulse than pre-determined decisions. I'm also a bit concerned with my uncanny ability to sit and read a good book while simultaneously filling my face with whatever happens to be within reach! Or endless internet surfing. The word sloth comes to mind and it has a certain appeal ;)
So what would you do if you could do whatever you wanted? That's what I've been asking myself. I've already made travel plans for August-November which involve New Brunswick and the south of France (hoping to work on my French while I'm there), a few job offers are actually pending (of course, they're jobs that can be done remotely, such as in France or on the beach), I'm hoping to maintain a regular fitness regime (already started this year), and some ideas in the back of my mind: perhaps take guitar lessons, volunteer teach some place exotic, cook gourmet meals, (forget that last one, I won't have time), golf lots in the summer. Hey, this retirement doesn't sound too bad after all!
(BTW I'm open to suggestions)