The school year ended a few weeks ago and for the first time in many years I did not have to worry about packing my room, filling out report cards, and completing files. Nor did I experience the traditional and bittersweet end of year wave as buses waited to pull away until all staff members, tissues in hand, gathered at the front of the line of buses. I didn’t cry as kids screamed goodbye and waved out open windows (in flagrant violation of normal bus policy) and staff smiled as they moved their hand back and forth like riders on a float, calling back their own goodbyes. I didn’t heave that grateful sigh of exhausted relief as the blare of honking horns died down and the staff all headed back into the quiet building. I actually considered showing up at school for the wave but knew it wouldn’t mean much without my first having hugged each of my own special people before they got on those buses.
While I did not miss the task of filling out end of the year report cards, I remembered all of the reflection that is part of year end. Each year, as I filled out those grades and typed in comments I would consider each student’s progress, ways in which I had aided or hindered that progress, and what I would do differently the following year. It seemed appropriate for me to reflect on my own journey during my first year of retirement.
I looked back at this blog to remind myself of my eight fields of growth. And now I begin my reflection. I am laughing to myself as I am typing this. Ten months have passed since I last posted on my blog. I abandoned my blog for several reasons, including the splint on my hand. I also realized that blogging for only myself or for strangers (or maybe virtual friends) was a completely different experience than blogging with my second graders, whom I knew well. I also considered that my own thoughts and ideas were probably not of much interest to most people. Blogging was just one of the things I wanted to try when I retired. Nine posts later and …..
Blogging was fun for a bit and maybe also necessary for my transition from being a teacher to being a retired person who was excited but also a little frightened and worried about what would come next. It really helped me think about what I hope to get out of my retirement. Searching for and reaching out to other bloggers that are retired was also beneficial to me. I still read some of their blogs even though I don’t comment. Writing posts provided me with an opportunity to hone my writing skills. I was able to check something off my bucket list. Blogging was part of “exploring my new reality.” So as I write this post I am laughing because I envision myself creating nine posts – this one and one for each of the eight areas in which I wanted to grow. Then, who knows? Maybe as every school year ends I will reflect and blog. We will see!
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