Friday, February 6, 2015

Living the Good Life!

It's 8:00 a.m. on a Friday, I am alone, and everything is quiet. It's been about 2 1/2 years since I retired from my teaching job of 31+ years, and I have no regrets. I can truly say that I am "Living the Good Life"!!

Typical Friday mornings before retirement:

  • List Daily Plans on the White Board for students to copy. (I usually did this when I stayed late Thursday evening before leaving school).
  • Arrive at school early and/or stay late Thursday evening to get all tests copied and stapled.
  • Get Daily Math and Daily Language, etc., worksheets copied and delivered to all 4th grade teachers. (They need those first thing Monday morning.)
  • The usual - attendance, lunch report, etc. Do reports on computer and also send "paper reports" to Cafeteria and Office.
  • Collect and record Fund Raiser Money, count, and send to the Office on time.
  • Make certain all Signed Papers have been returned and that planner notes have been signed. If not, supervise while those students while they call their parents (during my "Professional Time").
  • Check/complete (while I supervise during Computer Lab) Lesson Plans for next week and post On Time!! (I worked on this at home last night for several hours, so I'm almost finished!)
  • Settle arguments.
  • Check school e-mail several times during the day and send responses.
  • Teach all day, even during Restroom Break!!
  • Have Chorus Practice at recess.
  • During our 20 minute lunch while I ate with the children, have students check milk containers for fluid ounces, ml, nutrition, etc. (Unfortunately, my state does not have a law allowing teachers to a Duty-Free Lunch and/or Planning Time, so we ate while the students ate.)
  • Remind students about name, date, and number and also about complete sentences, capital letter, ending marks, show all work, check work, etc., etc., etc.!!!
  • Collect tests, clip, and list who is not finished on a Post-It. Put completed tests in a folder to be graded (and recorded) before Signed Papers go home Tuesday. Make a separate list of who is not finished, and put it in a file to be finished Monday. Put names on tests of absent kids and put them a folder.
  • Mini-conference with other Grade-Level Teachers regarding next week's activities.
  • Stay late after school A-G-A-I-N to get a "jump" on next week (hopefully not more than 2 additional hours). 
  • Take all the completed tests and papers home to be graded over the weekend, along with manuals, etc., to read and plan. 
  • PLAN to start cleaning after dinner, but "collapse on the couch from exhaustion and lack of sleep" instead!!
  • Etc., Etc., Etc.!!!


How did I do all that? It makes me a little tense and tired to think about it all now!

Friday Mornings Today:

A fellow teacher once told me, "Mrs. Justice, you need to get a life!" I will admit, with handling all the "goings on" at school and at home, there was very little time left for me.

My schedule today is much different than when I was teaching. This morning  I have a load of laundry in the washer, the dishwasher is busily doing its job, and I am sitting at my computer working on this Blog Post. I will do some cleaning when I finish - on my time, my schedule. Before, I dreaded cleaning on Saturdays ("the drudge day"), so now I try to get most of the cleaning done before the weekend. Dinner is started and will be ready in the Crock-Pot when the family arrives home. (It smells great!)

I may still squeeze a Pilates or Yoga workout in today, and there's always the possibility of a soak in the Hot Tub!

I have checked my Blog views and comments on Facebook. I now have a Pinterest account, and I love it! It's a great way of saving ideas for future projects, and I also share my own projects there. 

Fortunately, crafts, projects, and sewing have finally become possible, again, and I feel so much more creative than when I was working. I have projects in the planning stages for the grand-kids, and I hope to finish the West Virginia quilt for the newest grandson in the next couple of days. I sewed several Halloween Costumes for the grand-kids last fall, and that was so much fun! 

I have traveled and helped with all of the grand-kids' birthday parties. I even made 3 Frozen dresses for the granddaughters along with "Olaf" for a "Frozen" party last spring. 

I enjoyed making Christmas Ornaments with the grand-kids. It's so rewarding watching them create! I still love working with children, only in a less stressful way!

I have found out what it's like to attend Grandparent's Day, Book Fairs, and other school events as a "Grandparent", and I've had some a great experiences. I have also been fortunate enough to read books to my granddaughter's class.

Last year my flower garden was the best that it has ever been, and I actually had time to enjoy it! More is planned for this year!

Not only has there been more "Family Time" with my immediate family, and I know they appreciate more home-cooked meals and the many desserts and snacks that I now have time to make. There's been more time to travel and visit distant family and friends, and I've also been fortunate to go on more business trips with my husband (his business; my pleasure).

Since retiring, I have traveled and helped my sons' families following the births of 2 grandchildren without being stressed over missing school - no detailed Substitute Lesson Plans, no stacks of papers to deal with upon returning, and NO Discipline Problems to fret over. 

When health problems resurface, I can rest as much as needed and really take care of myself without feeling "Teacher-Guilt". At those times, I often say, "Thank you, Lord, that I'm not working!!" Of course, less stress and more rest continues to make me healthier!

As a "Senior Citizen", I have learned that AARP gives you great discounts, and there's other compensations for being "a certain age", including department store rewards on designated days and restaurant discounts. And don't forget about those much anticipated monthly checks! I certainly don't feel old; I feel blessed to be able to really enjoy my life.

I will admit, I was terrified by the idea of retiring. I would have flashes of myself sitting on the couch staring into space being rather "washed up", a "has-been" with no purpose and nothing to do. Well, that hasn't happened yet, and I don't anticipate that it will. I am one of those people who now says: 

"How did I ever have time to work?" 

A former co-worker (now-retired) once told me that I would know when it was time to retire, and she was right! Although I was very resistant to the idea of retiring, and health problems prompted it, I can honestly say that I am very happy that I retired when I did. I have no regrets!

Yes, there is life after Retirement for me!
I feel creative again!!
I am living the Good Life!!!

You may also like:

Retirement Rocks                     Retirement - Am I Really Doing This?

Retirement Feelings - School Supply Stress

Surviving Retirement - One Year Later

Retirement Feelings - Last Parish Paycheck

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