Tick, Tick, Tick
It just isn’t right. It’s been almost two months since I last wrote. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about you. I have. But, I have to be blunt and honest, you haven’t been my priority.
Here’s what I have done instead:
- Been an in-person (and remote) 8th grade English Language Arts teacher to about 150 newly minted teens. Anyone who has likewise served as an educator this year knows what a tough gig it’s been. Our necks and shoulders–let’s throw in our vision as well–has calcified into a rusty backyard gate hinge. Our butts have flattened into soggy crepes. Our braincells are like Memorial Day charcoal ash with an occasional lighthouse flash of ember: Some of our students actually learned!
- Been a full-time grandma to my 14-month-old granddaughter who is residing with us, along with her Mama, while her Papa studies for a gigantic med. school exam. Seven days a week, I wake up to her sweet whimper, and cuddles and diapering morning rituals, get her ready for our new babysitter, Esther, while her Mama teaches upstairs and I head to work. I get home, get more hugs and oodles of baby afternoon duties, then try to dive into a bit of grading and class planning, then hit the sack by 9 p.m.
- Been suffering from insomnia. For a bunch reasons.
- Been a motivational, kick in the fanny, coach/mentor to my ex-husband who is ailing from a series of complications, most profoundly, severe depression.
- Been housekeeper and dog-watcher to our two lively pups, Monet and Finn.
- Been gardener and trash day hauler, and all-other household duties.
- Been overseer/contractor/financier of my new rental unit, Moonstone Cottage By the Sea, which will hopefully provide some extra retirement income.
- Been a regular imbiber in Boisset Wines, a collection of amazing biodynamic California and French wines. http://www.boissetcollection.com
- Been preparing for retirement, which is now eight days away, not including Memorial Day. Medicare. Final doctor appointments. Cleaning out the classroom. Pension fund decisions. You know, the paperwork–what if I make a wrong decision???--of life.
Which means what I haven’t been is present with myself. I have been, to put it mildly, distracted by life and responsibilities. But I am now starting to sense that just beyond the horizon of the day-to-day, is a new beginning. That’s what I’m looking forward to. A fresh new start. A chapter in my life that I can decide, “What do I want to do?”
I am definitely not retiring rich or financially prepared. I am not the 50 pounds lighter I wanted to be. I am not very wise. I am still rather undone and uncertain about a lot of things. But what I feel is instinct. I feel God’s presence and abiding love and belief in me. I feel like a Redondo Union High School grad with a cap and gown. I know on my last day I will throw that mortarboard into the sky and it will feel like turquoise and yellow confetti: I made it. The sky’s the limit. It’ll be a new, brand new, open canvas.
I will have a chance to write more, walk more, create more, go camping for as long as I want in the Fall. Take solo trips. Hang out with my retired friends, the ol’ pros at negotiating this chapter of life.
It’s been a hellofa final year teaching. We’re all pretty PTSD’d . But we are almost at the Finish Line. There’ll be a staff party in eight days, and some melancholy goodbyes. I worked SO HARD to be a good teacher. And just like that, it will be over. No more lesson planning. No more grading. No more angry parents. No more end-of-the-day visits from former students. No more knowing, “Did I do OK? Did I make a difference? Did I help?”
I have much to write about, think about. I hope you’ll hang in there with me as I am about to become more prolific. But for now, there’s a baby stirring and a Mama who is pooling it up with her sister and nephew. Duty calls.
Category: UncategorizedTags: #Californiaeducator, #faith, #grandma, #grandparent, #I'mgoingtodisneyland!, #middleschoolteacher, #redondobeach, #retirededucator, #retiredmom, #retiredteacher, #retirement, #ruhs, #writer