Reflections on Retirement.

” Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me.  I never had the time before to notice the beauty of my grandkids, my wife, the tree outside my very own front door.  And, the beauty of time itself. ”  – Hartman Jule.

I am approaching my third year of retirement with gratitude and no regrets.  After many years as an educator and principal with a hectic schedule, I am enjoying the mere fact of having free time.  I worked very hard for 40 years, with 39 of them in the teaching profession, and I have certainly earned the privilege of receiving my gratuity and pension.

As the Good Book says, there is a season for everything.  One must know when to retire.  It is better to retire when you are still at the top of your game, so to speak, rather than wait until you are no longer performing your duties well, to call it a day.  If you remain in your post until your job performance declines through advancing age and its limitations, you will damage your own legacy and erode the goodwill of your colleagues.

Interestingly, as the years rolled on, I was frequently asked: ” when are you going to retire and take it easy? ”  I always knew exactly when I was going to retire and I prepared myself thoroughly for that event.  When I drove away from my school for the final time, I had already mentally and emotionally detached myself from that space and that period of my life.

I moved on to another phase of my life.  Today I am enjoying my retirement.  So far I have chosen not to work; not even part-time and I love my freedom.  I do what I want to do.  I spend time with my family and a few trusted friends, I enjoy my hobbies, I walk for exercise, and I publish some of my thoughts on education and other matters in this blog.  Maintaining a blog calls for discipline and it keeps me intellectually active.

It is ironic that the question I am most frequently asked now that I am retired is: ” what work are you doing to fill your free time? ”  Believe it or not, this question often comes from the same people who used to ask me, in the past, when I was going to retire and take it easy.  Life is like that!


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