Wednesday, May 8, 2019

7 Things That are Different 7 Years Later

kale via Pixabay
On Monday evening, I went to a reception to celebrate the retirements of several of my former teaching colleagues. It was wonderful to see so many of the people who made school a place I wanted to go every day. I'd maintained regular contact with a few and sporadic content with a few others but there were others I hadn't seen since I retired. I got to do a lot of catching up, but perhaps the question I got most often was, "how long have you been retired?"

Seven years next month. Frankly, it surprises me as much as it surprises my former colleagues.

Three years ago, I wrote a post called "4 Things that are Different 4 Years Later." Today, I want to piggyback on that post, citing 7 things that are different 7 years later.

My job description. I went from a clearly defined job description (school counselor) to one that's a little less defined -- and that gives the writing part of my work an opportunity to be on equal footing with the educational part.

My schedule. While I still follow a schedule, my workdays are much more flexible than they used to be. The line between work and leisure is blurrier, but my work days also start later, making them a better fit for my night owl temperament.

My role as a parent. When I retired, my daughter was finishing eighth grade. Now, she is finishing her junior year in college. I went from finally getting to be a stay-at-home mom, albeit to an adolescent, to being an empty-nester.

My friendships. As I said at the top of this post, I've kept in touch with some of my former colleagues -- some personally, some via Facebook and some via occasional chats. Still, these friendships have shifted, as friendships do, for a variety of reasons. Some of my old connections have faded and new ones have arisen as well.

My family. My mom, who was one of my biggest cheerleaders not just while I was making my retirement decision but on a day-to-day basis as well, succumbed to cancer two years ago. I'm glad she got to see how things changed for me and how happy I am in my second career. I'm also glad that my dad is now close by and a regular part of our family life.

My writing remains a big part of my life, and has expanded to include a new nonfiction book and regular writing gigs that include writing on assignment and supplying work to publications on a regular basis.

My blogs. This blog predates my retirement but, when I retired, I began to take it more seriously and post on a regular schedule. In 2015, I started my Organizing by STYLE blog, which led to Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist's Guide to Sorting Your Stuff, due out next month. They've become as much a part of my writing regime as anything I write for publication.

It hardly seems that seven years have passed since I retired from the job that played such an important role in my life. And the changes that have slipped into my life over the past seven years have done so gradually, weaving themselves into the fabric of my life, making it richer. As much fun as it was to look back on Monday night, it's also fun to look forward.

Who knows what the next seven years will bring?

monsterkoi via Pixabay

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