Friday, January 30, 2015

Five Things Friday . . . with a minor announcement . . .

1. The Redheads Are Coming! My daughter and granddaughter arrive later this morning for a weekend visit with Nana and Granddad. Should be fun . . . I do find it tough to get to the work I need to do, but that's what my office door is for, right? And I just remind myself that I don't have to do this juggling for too much longer, what with retirement in the near future.

2. Also joining us for dinner tonight is a former student of mine, one for whom I recently had the privilege of writing a recommendation for grad school. She's a delightful person -- so bright, but with a rare intellectual generosity, a writer who also sings and acts, thoughtful, gracious, and with spiritual awareness of someone much older -- and I'm honoured that she's wanted to keep in touch with me.  This is an aspect of my work that I will miss tremendously when I retire, I must admit. . . .

3. Silk! Another of those great BBC series, one that I binged my way through, often watching 2 to 3 episodes an evening. Not sure if it's a good thing that I'll have time for even more of this sort of (in!)activity once I retire. . . .

4. Paris. I'm populating my Pinterest "Next Trip to Paris" Board more intently these days, as the calendar gets closer to my annual trip. Something much different this year -- I'm going for a week with my sister, leaving Pater at home. The plan was that I'd take a leave for one term, and he and I would go back in the fall for a longer stay, with a base in Bordeaux. When I decided to retire this year, it made sense simply to chug through the fall, working until the end of December, to pack away some extra income, and then we'd be free to travel in 2016. However . . . 

5. A few weeks ago, I tapped into my fatigue, acknowledged its emotional roots, and realized I'd committed myself to work as an endurance test. Given that I've now moved into the last decade or so in which it might be reasonable to count on relatively good health and fitness, and given that there are so many other things I want to do, that I feel I'm pushing off for another whole year. . . Yes, I did it! I checked in with HR, then with our department head, and I will officially be retired at the end of July. Classes end in April, exams and papers should be done by the end of that month, and then I've got some committee work that will keep me busy until the end of May. After that, I'll tackle clearing out my office, handing in my keys, and making lists of everything I want to do all at once! 

So that's the Good News I hinted at last post. I'm mostly very happy about it, although I do have occasional plunges into momentary panic.  . . 

Off to yoga class now and then a weekend with my redheads. Bon weekend, you! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

38 comments:

  1. Wow! You will love it. You have so much to do you will not regret your decision. And hey, what's to panic about?

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Luckily, the panic is only occasional and only momentary. . .

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  2. Congratulations on taking the plunge! There are so many other wonderful things going on in your life, you will not be bored!

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  3. When you have retired you will wonder how you ever had time to work! With your growing family you will have more time to spend with the wee ones and you will find time to do things at a slightly slower and more relaxed pace. Your days will be full and you are your own boss so you can decide what your workload will look like! I highly recommend retirement...it is a new phase. I think you have made the right choice!

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    1. You do make retirement look like a good idea!

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  4. You have done it! Congratulations. Sure you will love having charge over your time. It is worth such a lot. Enjoy your weekend and raise a glass to your new life!

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. Your post quite a while ago got me really thinking in this direction. . .

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  5. Wow, congratulations!! It sounds like absolutely the best decision for you.

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    1. I think so, Sue. It feels right (she says, with the teeniest bit of trepidation).

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  6. Congratulations! I can't imagine how you'll keep that bubble of joy from overflowing. The relief and the permission you've given yourself to move out and move on - wow! I will follow you when my contract is done, though I have the safety valve of 'thirty days notice' to comfort me when MY bubble of panic threatens to overflow.
    Have a wonderful time with your redheads. It's another thing we have in common.

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    1. Thanks! -- perhaps we'll get to chat more about this at breakfast this week -- looking forward to it!

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  7. You will truly enjoy retirement! There are a lot of possibilities and it is great to have the freedom. I have taken to Netflix bingeing these days as well. BBC and ITV have some great series. Unfortunately, there are not many episodes in a season. Have fun with your redheads this weekend.

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    1. It's true -- those British series have fewer episodes per season. . . and also true, I think, that I will enjoy retirement. And the redheads and I are indeed having fun.

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  8. Well done! Nothing like making a decision and then carrying it through. Now you can start to consider what the summer and autumn will bring. Off the treadmill, onto a more restful path. Perhaps flower strewn? I too will be leaving work in July even though it will not be retirement for me. Still - new pastures are exciting. Have an excellent weekend.

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    1. I do feel relieved to have made a decision and I'm looking forward to discovering what free time feels like. I do think new pastures can be exciting -- hope you find yours to be. May yours be a fabulous weekend as well!

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  9. Excellent decision. A year was too long to be betwixt and between, 'til July is more manageable emotionally. You can relax and enjoy your last few months of teaching.

    Change is in the air. On Monday we fly to Malta to begin 8 months living there. Excitement and apprehension in equal parts.
    Lilibet

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    1. Thanks, Lilibet -- I did find that I was "betwixt and between" and that having made the decision to leave, I was beginning to leave emotionally which made it tough to give what I need to give. With only several months left, I can devote the necessary energy.
      8 months in Malta! Have you thought again of blogging this? If you do, let us know. . .

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  10. Wonderful news! Sending heartfelt congratulations your way, and looking forward to hearing more about post-work-life plans and realities...

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    1. Thanks, Georgia! I'll surely be writing about the change.

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  11. So very exciting. Absolutely a good choice. And, good for us, because whatever you decide to share here, with any extra time, is sure to be thoughtful and original.

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    1. Aw, thanks. I am truly looking forward to finally being able to give the blog the time I think it deserves.

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  12. Congratulations! Your decision-making process sounds eerily the same as mine, and I've never regretted my choice to not slog it out to an arbitrary end date, much as I loved my university career. Time is finite and good health is never a given, so it makes sense to move into this stage of your life when you are surrounded by those near and dear to you and when the discomforts of travel and change are outweighed by the joys. The fears I had about finances and not staying busy seem almost laughable in hindsight, especially when I think of the happiness and joy that the past few years have brought me. You'll be fine--no, I take that back--you'll be more than fine!

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    1. I'm so pleased to have your reassurance. I've really enjoyed my relatively brief, late-in-life academic career (I only finished my first degree at 41; only began teaching at my uni 13 or 14 years ago). But I feel as if I could easily feel myself slogging, taking away the joy I've had in the work up until this point. Better to go now, I think, and if I look back with some regrets about leaving, I'd rather that than regret years wasted slogging away . . .

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  13. Oooh, I am envious! I am almost exactly your age and in a similar place in terms of grandchildren, but I have committed to work until the end of 2016, when a big project at my university is complete. I will be eager to follow your adventures in retirement!

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    1. I imagine that the big project provides enough interest to keep you well engaged for the next two years. But I can well imagine some envy on your part. It's tough to feel those two pulls, isn't it?

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  14. Good for you! Just the way you write about it sounds more light-hearted, even with momentary bits of panic. And it seems like something you've been working your way toward for some time now. Congratulations.

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    1. It's true. I feel as if a weight has lifted with the decision. Thanks!

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  15. Good news, momentous news! We often remark when our children are young that these years will not come again. But we lose sight of the fact that our retirement years don't come again either. July will be here before you know it, and in the meantime, enjoy those redheads!

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    1. Exactly! These seem to be healthy, good years but they'll whiz by, and I feel pretty selfish about how I'll spend them!

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  16. Congrats on your decision. You'll sail through the last term. I will say that I felt panic too when my retirement date came close.... a bit like stepping off into the unknown... and about my job, which I had always loved...I kept thinking..."Wow...it's over? How can it be over?" But you have so many interests and plans you won't regret your decision. And you know...I miss the students some times.... but they keep dribbling back into my life on Facebook and Twitter...which is fun. Last week, I had a new follower on Twitter who left the message..."Sorry Ms. B for being such a pain when I was in grade ten. Glad to see to are having fun in retirement." Loved that message!

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    1. I think you're right. And I do know there will continue to be some student contact (it's a small city, after all) -- and there will be new interests and activities and networks to replace that, I'm sure.
      So cute that your former student tweeted an apology -- it's pretty clear your students loved you!

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  17. Oh I am so happy for you ( and just a teeny, tiny bit jealous:)!!

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    1. Thanks! (I don't mind the teeny bit of jealousy ;-)

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  18. Just read your post. How exciting. Thank you for sharing your journey to your decision. I am so looking forward to your in retirement posts. I have a feeling it is going to be a busy and inspirational one.

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    1. It is exciting, isn't it?! We'll see what the next stage brings . . . ;-)

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  19. I knew it! I read lots of sadness in your writing of your first decision, so I am thrilled for you that time will now be your friend, (yeah, sure, as the above comment that you will soon wonder how you had time to work!) Good health is never to be taken for granted, and your fitness now will allow so many good things to happen! You have so much love to give!

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    1. Not sure I was sad at my earlier decision, as much as apprehensive. Once I'd accepted the idea of leaving, I realized I was ready to do so earlier. I think there are good times ahead. ;-)

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