Monday, April 28, 2008

The eternal optimist~

With fewer than forty school days left before my much-anticipated retirement, I called my former newspaper editor. I had a quick question to ask, just needed some info that a friend asked me to get.

Then after the chitchat, after the answer to the question, just at good-by, he said, "By the way, we have a position opening up in June. Full-time, forty-hours. Would you be interested?"


It seems an editor for a nearby town was leaving and the seat at her desk was going to need to be filled.


"Well, I'd have some questions." I was stalling.

How did I feel? A desk job. A desk with no students in front. A phone right there within reach. A computer. Local stories to cover . . . Interviews to do-- I love to ask questions.

"I remember you said to keep you in mind when you retired," he said.

But, the thing is, I haven't retired yet. I haven't had a chance to taste the freedom from routine that brings.

"One question: Would I have to get up early?"

"No, editors never do," he said.

"What about nap time?" I asked. He laughed now.

And then it clicked.


I told him the timing was off. That I needed to get a taste of retirement before I committed to something else. That I'd continue as a stringer, but for now it was too much too soon to take a full time job. A job that would probably start the minute my other one ended.

He understood.

But, God willing, I'll have time for another career, or a mini one anyway.

Do I want that?

Well, let's not call it a career. I want to develop a niche, something creative that will make some money. Fun money. There must be such a thing. I want the chance of a lifetime to fall into my lap, or rather; I want to create the chance of a lifetime.

High hopes? I'd like you to meet reality.

No one has crystal ball to view the future, but in this day of rising gas prices, falling house prices, and a roller coaster ride for other things as well . . . some things are out of my control.

Thirty-five years ago, I had no idea what my retirement year would have in store. And if I had, what difference would it have made? I couldn't have changed a thing.

So I'm poised. Where I'll land remains to be seen.

But I'm the eternal optimist.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson


Carter said...

I know you--you'll start off running, multi-tasking, getting a lot of things done (but not getting other ones done), making yourself useful to all sorts of people who will be dumbly grateful.

You'll be too busy to miss the school kids--much. You already know a lot, but you'll learn new things, and still marvel at sunny days and brightly blooming tulips.

Life begins with retirement! My ten years out of a "job" have been unbelievably good. Yours will be, too!

Barbara said...

You will never regret retirement for a minute. But do get a taste of the freedom before committing to another job. Maybe something part-time eventually? I love that picture and remember it from sometime back.

Dave said...

You followed your intuition and that is always good. Get your taste and feel the new path your journey is about to take and then go where your heart leads you. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears and feelings open to everything and share what you are learning. Congrats on your upcoming retirement and bless you.

Tere said...

How very exciting. You have choices. There is nothing so special as having choices. Enjoy!

Wanda said...

Ruth, I love your attitude, and so look forward to hearing what you decide to do.

We are loving our retirement, and new home.

Janice Thomson said...

Oh how wise you are my friend. If you took that job right away you would still be wondering what retirement is all about. Kudos for following your heart and not your head at a time when enjoying life to the fullest is beckoning silently. You have earned it.

david mcmahon said...

Loved this post.

Wanda said...

I got so wrapped up in your story yesterday, I forgot to mention that is an absolutley wonderful photo of the ocean and path... Loved it!!

Lisa said...

Phew! You scared me for a second! You made the right decision. :) Timing is everything.

Ruth D~ said...

Thanks for the supportive comments. Not one said, "Oh, take the job. Money, ya know?"

leslie said...

As you know, I retired in '06 (early ahem) and didn't have time to relish the feeling of it because so many things happened in my family. However, I have thought about doing something part time now and have 2 students I tutor a couple of days a week. Then just yesterday, a woman whose children I'd taught called to me at the local grocery store and said that she's on the Education Committee at a nearby private high school. They're looking for someone to teach French 9 - probably part time or maybe even temporary. Was I interested? Um...YES!!! I know I could use the money because I want to travel and fix up my house, etc. So it would be perfect! I still want to be MOSTLY free to do what I want when I want but the $ would help me do that. So keep your fingers crossed that it works out.

But for you? You need to taste that freedom for a while. I know just how exhausted teachers are and you probably don't realize it yet - you will, though, when you find yourself drifting off about 3:00 pm every afternoon! lol You need time to sort out life and such before committing to something else.

mrsnesbitt said...

Oooooooooooooooooooh! Opportunity knocks...but not always at the front door where we would expect it!

Sandi McBride said...

Oh GOD I hope you love retirement as much as I I miss working? No, not at all...I
am a very happy girl going through life doing what I love to do...enjoy it and see where it takes never know what new doors will open once that employment door closes behind you.
David sent me by...