Sunday, May 8, 2016

Where Has Time Gone?

Has it really been months since I have been on here? I know I have said it before, but life has really been putting a weight on me..... (So much for my word of the year- BALANCE....) BUT... I am hoping that this is about to change.

Here I sit, May 8, 2016- only 4 days left in my teaching career. After 31 years in the classroom, I have decided that it is officially time for me to wrap up that section of my life and enter the next stage. I am actually retiring!

Here in Kentucky, teachers can retire as early as year 27 and many of them do. I stuck it out, primarily because I was concerned about money. Would I have enough in retirement to make it through each month? Would my family's needs be met? Year 30 came last year and I kept telling myself that I needed to hang on until I was 55. (That is the other milestone that Kentucky uses to determine retirement eligibility.)

Then the school year started. Changes within the system started. Around September, the yearly student angst started. By October or November I was praying, asking God for guidance. I just didn't seem as happy in the classroom anymore. I felt that I had accomplished things that I wanted to accomplish. I had taught thousands of students across a three county area, touched many lives, imparted wisdom, set examples, and stood by to cheer on my students as they succeeded. Many of my students were now parents and some of them were even stepping into classrooms alongside me. My own family was growing older, with my son graduating from college and my daughter in her second year of undergraduate school. I had discovered a new love for crocheting and was finding it difficult to make time for some of the small orders that were coming in. It just seemed right....

I find myself a bit melancholy at the thought of leaving. I have made strong friendships with the 5 teachers who formed the middle school team at my school. For the past several years we have encouraged one another, cried with one another, laughed with one another, and been through a lot. We have shared births and deaths, successes and failures, and much, much change. I have no doubt that I will be returning to visit them often (with food in hand) to catch up on the recent gossip and continue to encourage them.

I am also more than a bit happy. I am looking forward to being the teacher who VISITS the school and leaves when she wants to, not when the bell rings at the end of the day. I have a lot of plans and I look forward to following through on many of them.

I know that life will continue to throw its curve-balls in my direction- that is normal. Without it, life would get boring. I think that retirement will have me better prepared to deal with those curve-balls.

I do not know all of God's plans for me in the coming years, but I know that he will make them evident to me, if I will only take the time to listen and watch.

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

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