Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Every day a Saturday!

Whoa – it’s been a while since I blogged. I think about it a lot but thinking and doing are clearly different animals! 

It’s as if a room-darkening curtain drops down around my mind when I begin to think about blogging! With the lights out, there isn’t much to say.

Today I’m pushing through the darkness – bound to be some light on the other side!

I completed one full year of retirement … it’s been fun but there have also been some challenges. (I still mark time in school years 😜 )

Yay, no structure!! AND Whoa, no structure??

At first I loved not having structure; I especially loved not having a bedtime or an alarm clock.  I’ve never been a night owl but I quickly became fond of the hours between 10 pm and midnight – quiet, peaceful!

I also loved having time to explore hobbies and crafts. I learned to enjoy easy reading – set a goal to read a book a week and that’s been fun.  I use Goodreads to keep up with those books ...  feel free to friend me there. While I’ve been a member a long time, I haven’t taken advantage of all the features. Maybe this year I’ll write reviews and engage in discussions … who knows!

The challenges in retirement came from the opposite side of the coin – the lack of structure was difficult. I didn’t want a 40 – 80 hour workweek but I needed something on the calendar to help me focus.

In my tour as an educator I had been an elementary administrator for 10 years. I had seen first hand the value of community volunteers. So I offered to volunteer in my grandson’s second grade classroom. I offered to do whatever she needed.  I can cut and paste with the best! I can also read with kids … and yes, I can do math with them. I think my favorite activity was when she was working on a writing project and wanted students to brainstorm first. She gave me a set of questions, and I interviewed each child, writing down their responses. They used their interview responses to create their projects. Asking 2nd graders what makes them special was insightful! 

Next I decided I missed math. So I offered to tutor middle and high school students in our area.  I do charge for tutoring and that’s become my fun money. I discovered that tutoring is challenging. Not every kid whose mom hires me wants to do math for an hour. And some have issues – ADHD being a real challenge for kids. Tutoring tapped into the creative part of my brain that was eager for a workout.

So now I had about 7 – 8 hours on my calendar that helped to shape my school year … a far cry from the 40 -80 hours of previous years but just enough to provide boundaries to the days.

My husband (also retired) and I commented that every evening has been a Friday night and everyday a Saturday.  And yes, that’s the huge benefit of retirement.  It is also the huge challenge – if everyday is the same then where’s the differentiation?  I've been working through that!

Anyway … I’m already looking forward to the start of school in a whole different way than I used to.  And I think I’ll share some “getting ready for school” posts.

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