Here in the East, next week, they’re ringing bells for school, but not for me….I’m retiring!
I surprised myself in the last post when I explained why I chose to celebrate my retirement on three days–instead of just one–spread over two weeks. I speculated that perhaps my trifold celebration was a subliminal way of trying to delay the reality of the end of my teaching career, a delay that would end up “dragging out the pain of separation.”
“Separation.” That word stopped me.
How ironic! At the start of my schooling, I had separation anxiety about going to school. Now, decades later, at the end of my schooling (albeit as a teacher), I’m having twinges of separation anxiety about leaving school.
Even if I’m the only former teacher with separation anxiety at both ends of the school experience: how human! Anxious about going to school; equally anxious about not going. Go figure!
Someone who retired a quarter of a century ago tried to prepare me. Tried warning me about post-retirement first day of school blues.
“It’s like the Dalmatians,” she said. “Fire bell sounds and they’re on their way to the firehouse. Be ready for what you’ll feel the first day of school when the school bell rings. Don’t be surprised. Your instinct—no matter how long you’ve been retired—will be to head to school. You’ll see.”
I’ll see. I’ll let you know if this year when the school bells ring I feel queasy, not because I am–but because I am not–racing there.
What reminds you about, or signals for you, the separations inherent in retirement?