My thankfulness continues into the new year.
Yesterday I wrote about my gratitude for my career as a teacher, and for being “called” into that service and using God’s gifts to do that job well for 34 years. There were times when I was “burned out,” as well as other times I was greatly disheartened, but I continued to hear God telling me, “I have called you to be a teacher. When I have something else in mind I will let you know.”
A few years ago I knew it was getting to be time to retire. I know God was letting me know it was time. I was able to work that last year with no one outside my family knowing it was my last, except for two dear secret-keeping friends and my principal. I was encouraged that so many said to me they had no idea I was retiring until we announced it about three weeks before year end. I hope that meant I didn’t slow down in my work or act as if I didn’t care about the future of the students and the school. Because I did care – I still do. But my retirement has been absolutely wonderful! I am busy with keeping my grandchild one day a week, participating in a soul-strengthening weekly Bible study, chairing our local nonprofit library foundation, trying to be a better friend and attend to others’ needs more than before, and revisiting art and design skillsets I had abandoned for lack of time and energy when I worked full time. Even though I still find there is never enough time, Time has a different meaning to me these days, resulting in a better attitude and considerably less stress.
When I was finishing my last year, a friend asked, “How do you know it is time to retire?” I told her that if she didn’t know the answer to that, then it wasn’t time for her to retire. I have never looked back. I am immensely grateful for each new day in this new stage of life.
I am so thankful.