I’ve been gone a long time.  Got so down that I just kind of gave up on everything.  I withdrew from my friends and family.  Let one day roll into another and spent my time playing mindless games on the computer, watching mindless shows on TV and eating everything in sight.  What little thought I’ve invested into anything has been in my job.  Writing lesson plans, grading papers, trying to keep my head above water.

I finally made a decision about retirement.  I went back and forth.  I’m going to retire, I’m not going to retire…couldn’t really make up my mind.  Things crystalized for me over Christmas break.  We went to Florida and I spent some time walking in the woods and relaxing in the cabin.  Read a few books and spent every night out in the clawfoot tub looking at the stars.  Then, with a heavy heart and a whole bunch of resentment, I took out my laptop and began writing lesson plans, creating worksheets and grading papers.  Two whole days of my break but I finally got caught up and had the first couple of weeks of the new year planned out.

Then I came back to work for two days and they pulled all my freshmen for a couple of days.  Then they pulled my seniors.  Then they took my ROTC students for the ASVAB testing.  I was trying to work with half my students gone and wondering how they were going to get caught up with the rest of the class after missing out on lessons.  The program we’re required to use for grading went down for more than a week, the internet was up and down and running slow as all get out and my students were frustrated and off task.  I was involved in breaking up two fights that resulted in two teachers being assaulted and students going to jail.  I worked like a dog to get the National Honor Society Induction ceremony taken care of and I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?  How much longer?  Does any of it make any sense?”  And I made my decision.  My heart is just not in it anymore.  I’m done.

There’s a tremendous sense of freedom that comes from having made the decision.  I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I don’t get as frustrated and angry with the bureaucracy because I know I don’t have to deal with it much longer. 

Twenty one years ago, I was hired a couple of weeks into the school year.  That means I have to go back the first couple of weeks next year.  Still, everytime something really gets on my nerves, I find peace in knowing it’s the last time I’ll have to deal with it. 

Now I have to take a good look at where I am, crawl out of this hole and get back to being me.  For starters, I’m blogging again.  I’m opening my eyes and looking around and wondering what’s going on with all my bloggie buddies.  Think I’ll find out.  Then, I’m going to clean the house and plan a decent dinner.  There’s been a whole lot of pizza and fast food the last few months.


laura705 says 16th January @ 11:47

Sounds like a good decision for you. Will you do some other kind of work after you retire from teaching?

patty says 16th January @ 12:31

I’m not sure, Laura. I like to keep busy but I think I’d like to be busy just doing the things I want for a while. I’ve been working for 45 years and I’d like to just enjoy the freedom for a bit.

brseay says 16th January @ 21:07

I’m so glad to see you on here. I wasn’t on much myself until the last week–we must be on the same wavelength.

I’m glad you have finally made a decision about retirement. Knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel has to make it easier. I hope that you will be able to enjoy this last part of your career, though, instead of them having to be something to get through. I know it has been a challenge recently but I remember how much you have loved it and how much you impact the lives of your students.

How is Donnie?

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