I can almost officially say I have been retired for a year now. And during this past year I have been blessed with so many gifts – and challenged by a few – that the time has simply flown.

The most surprising thing to me is how little I have missed teaching. The educational environment had changed so much that I was dismayed by what the expectations and measures of success had become. My memories of better days sustain me. I have never looked back.

Another surprise, barely in second place, is my current relationship with time. I thought I would have more of it.

There have been plenty of opportunities to spend my time in helpful, productive ways. A new house for our daughter and her husband – and then a new baby. A wedding for our son and our sweet new daughter-in-law. Working on community foundations and nonprofits.

People have asked me if I have developed a routine. I just smile. There have been too many directions to head towards. And besides, my whole life before now revolved around a routine. Not any more.

But I am still trying to figure out where the time goes. Time is a precious commodity.

Recently I read a book that is fabulous for so many reasons. In the Sanctuary of Outcasts tells the story of a man who found himself in federal prison – and learned his most important lessons about life there. As he is getting ready to be released, he realizes how valuable time has become to him, and how his relationship with time will change in the outside world:

… but as much as anything else I would miss time.  Time to daydream.  Time to walk. Time to pay attention. Time to plan adventures for my new life, a new life with my children. Time to remember that great doesn’t always mean big… Where I was headed, I didn’t imagine I would see many men simply passing the time.

Yes, we all have the same 24 hours in each day. Each tick of the clock is a gift. I need to embrace what time there is for us all and plan better for it. To live it fully. To make each moment count.

I hope to pass the time in meaningful, joy-filled ways.

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