Where Did the Second Year Go?


     Over the last week I have thought about all the end of the year school activities that have been occurring. The school at which I taught is at the end of my subdivision and I pass it many times during the week.  My first year of retirement I sometimes felt like a stalker, looking each day to see whose cars were in the parking lot or which teachers were on the playground.   I noticed when the Maypoles were in place and what was written on the sign by the street. I even felt a bit of nostalgia on nights when cars crowded the parking lot as parents attended conferences.  I know from talking to neighbor children that all of the normal end of year activities have been taking place and I have thought about the feeling of exhaustion that all of the staff have been experiencing.  But this week, like the rest of this past school year, I barely glanced at the building except on those few days when I volunteered.

     Still, the teacher in me surfaces as students and staff begin summer vacation.  While some people reflect and project on January 1, I find the distraction and excitement of the holiday season to hinder serious reflection.  After the holidays, one goes back to normal routines.  The rhythms of life don’t really change. Conversely, the last day of school affords a distinct interruption of the norm. As a teacher I always attended numerous summer workshops, but these experiences were very different from being in a classroom.  The teachers sitting by my side were not the same.  I was absorbing information with the gift of time…time to soak in the learning, time to digest it, time to reflect on the most effective way to use this new learning with my students not that day, but weeks in the future.  When the school year began again my students were different and some of the staff had also changed.  I found the distinct variation of the summer months the perfect time for reflection and transformation. 

     This year has brought its own ebb and flow.  My husband retired. My basement flooded. I followed one of my dreams. I found a new volunteer opportunity. My daughter got married. I sadly discontinued some things while I started others.  Today I ask myself, “Where do I go from here?”  ……and so…..I’m back!

One response to “Where Did the Second Year Go?

  1. I didn’t feel as though my retirement really started until the second year (this year for me also). It’s interesting that you needed to finish separating from the rhythms of your work life in order to start thinking about where you want to go from here.

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