this doesn’t scare me

Summer ends early in middle Tennessee. Not weather wise – oh, no – we are getting into some hot days this week. But school starts back and the weather (and “real life”) become less important when your days are spent inside a school room. Teachers went back last Friday – August 1, and students return this Friday – August 8.

I have always lamented this early return to school. August is when summer is just getting fired up. There are plenty more blistering days and humid evenings to get through. The beginning of school should be associated with cool nights, morning fogs, apples, and turning leaves. Plus, in my family, we have birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate in August. So many other things to do besides think about school. No, not yet.

But it is so hard to soak up summer and celebrate fully when all thoughts turn to classroom lists, bulletin boards, and lessons plans. That’s why is always pains me to see beautiful fall displays that appear this time of year, even though I LOVE the season of autumn. They remind me that my carefree days are over and routine is returning and there will be lots more things to worry about and many problems to solve very soon.

Yesterday I went to JoAnn’s for some fabric and this sight greeted me as I walked across the parking lot to the store:

signs of fall

But guess what? This doesn’t scare me anymore. It doesn’t even make me sad.

This is only the third year in the last 55 years that I haven’t started school in the fall. (One year working at another kind of business job, one year on maternity leave, and this year makes three.) And every year, once I got started, I relished every aspect of this teaching life. It was my calling, and my joy.

But not this year. This is my first year – my third day, actually, to be RETIRED. So I am looking at things differently. And honestly, I like the lens. It may feel different when those cool nights and autumn leaves finally do arrive, we’ll see. But for now, I really do like what I see!

8 thoughts on “this doesn’t scare me

  1. blkdrama says:

    Good luck! I am out of my classroom now for 10 years. I first year was the strangest. Take some yoga to help you relax into the year. Once you get through a full cycle you will be on your way to the next phase of your life 🙂 It’s been a gift to enjoy it.

  2. Linda Baie says:

    It won’t be long before I’ll be following you. Can’t believe that your schools are already starting. It does seem too soon, & too soon for pumpkins! The stores do get ready so quickly. Have a wonderful August “not” thinking of the beginning of school!

  3. anita says:

    I too can hear the clock of time ticking loudly and will soon be following you into new adventures….I love your positive spin on everything. But PUMPKINS on the first of August? Gee!

  4. Jaana says:

    Congratulations on the retirement! One thing that I have always wondered, why start school on Friday? I was thinking about going to JoAnns this weekend to check teacher appreciation special…wonder if I will see pumpkins?

  5. arjeha says:

    After having finished my first year of retirement I can say the wait was well worth it. Although I miss the students and the people I worked with, I would not want to go back. There is just too much other stuff to do. Enjoy.

  6. elsie says:

    Retirement does put a new spin on back to school. Enjoy your days, they are well deserved. I retired seven years ago, but still work part-time with reading and writing PD. I love the freedom!

  7. Raivenne says:

    It does feel as though the seasons come faster and faster than the calendar would have us believe. For those of us here where school starts in early September, back-to-school adverts have littered or newspapers and TV screens for at least a month now, giving the feel of autumn a solid month before its time. Retirement must indeed provided a different lens in which to view. Enjoy it.

  8. margaretsmn says:

    I’m sure it feels strange yet wonderful not returning to the classroom. We started and the kids come on the 8th. So soon!

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