I can’t imagine a more complex and challenging time to think of retiring than today. When I retired from teaching, I felt I was doing what people had done forever. I was 65 and had reached an age where change and slowing down was needed. But now, as I try to empathically feel what a teacher might be experiencing as they contemplate retirement, I’m filled with such contradictory feelings.
We might be retiring because we’re exhausted. Our job, our whole profession has been attacked for years. We might feel unsafe due to the pandemic and the inadequate response by our school district to that pandemic. We might be retiring because we’re sick of hearing from people, possibly parents, who don’t want their children to be educated in history, particularly the history of racism in the U. S., or about global warming, democracy or whatever.
And maybe, it is just that time. We’ve experienced a challenging era and survived; hopefully, we feel fulfilled, that we’ve helped so many people. And it’s just time to move on to another phase of our lives.
But what troubles many of us is what will we do with ourselves once we no longer have such a busy life? I noticed this fear myself, but it turned out to be mostly a fear of the unknown speaking. Every retiree I know has told me finding something positive to do was not a problem.
Yet, it’s best if we retire to something not from something. As a teacher, we are a person with a calling to help others. This doesn’t end when the job ends, although taking care of ourselves can now come first.
Steps to Take:
Since the world has been so tough lately, one of the first things we can do is heal….
**To read the post, please go to MindfulTeachers.org.