One of my new “Outer Circle” Twitter PLN friends counseled me to be sure to fully, properly celebrate the first day of my retirement. Be sure to plan something very special, she counseled. Don’t let the day pass without doing something extraordinary. What did I have planned? she inquired.
Got me thinking.
What did I have planned?
Tentatively, my big day goal has been to change it up. No business as usual that day. Since I won’t have a usual place of business to which to go, I’m feeling that it is important to have a change of venue—to be away from the area previously associated with work.
That’s it. That’s as far as I had planned when I was faced with the “do something special” advice and challenge.
Reviewing that tentative plan, I made it definitive. Definitely change of venue. To that I added: definitely time for prayerful thanksgiving for decades of work opportunities and experiences. Despite all its apparent “pains,” work is, after all, a great gift–easier to see as such in retrospect, I might add.
Being quietly, reflectively grateful that day is what I think I really want and need…
The “how?” to celebrate taken care of, there remained only question–the “when?”–what day is “the big day”? What is the day I need to acknowledge as marking my teaching retirement?…I seemed to have some confusing options.
Is it the official retirement date, stipulated by the state pension system, which is always the first of the month?
Is it the first day of the new school year when teachers need to report to school? And I don’t, because I’m no longer an employed teacher.
Is it the day when students start the new school year, and I won’t be there to welcome them back as one of their teachers?
Is it the first day when the library will be open for classes—the first day that I would have taught classes?
Which of those days, I asked myself, is the “real”–most significant day to celebrate my retirement? Which day “really” heralds that my active teaching career has come to an end?
After not-too-much thought, as one who gets overwhelmed by too many choices, I decided to simplify.
Why choose just one? I will mark all those occasions.
Yes! I will celebrate my retirement in three phases—like a Retirement Trio–on September 1st (official retirement calendar day, and no opening day meetings), 3rd (no welcoming students), and 14th (no more teaching).
Delay tactics? Dragging out the pain of separation? …Maybe…Even still, all those three days, it seems to me–each in its own way–deserve separate marking.
Three specially acknowledged and celebrated days to reconcile the past and be ready to embrace the future.
Three days to be especially quiet, thankful, and reflective. Sounds like a plan!
(What do you think? Bet I’ll spend time on Twitter with my PLN Outer Circle?..If you said yes, I bet you’re right!)
How did—or will—you mark your milestone first retirement day(s)?