We’re a month into the academic year . . . my first real month of retirement. So how’s it going?
The end of August was the most difficult time so far. I felt apprehensive and disconnected. Facing the unknown can be very unsettling. In August I met some former colleagues for lunch before they were consumed by the new school year. It was reassuring to know that friendships would continue even though we no longer work together. After the vague vanilla “let’s stay in touch” exchanges of June it was wonderful to actually sit down and enjoy spending time together. I really can keep these people, for whom I have so much respect and admiration, in my Life.
Next, I went to the college where I would be teaching part-time. I needed to recharge my sense of purpose by reconnoitering the classrooms I’d been assigned to. I decided to “test drive” the technology I would be using and found a couple of problems. I headed off to the AV dept with my sense of purpose feeling pretty good. Better to straighten this out now than in front of a roomful of students forming their first impressions of their new professor. Feelings of disconnection also began to diminish. I still had someplace to go to . . . somewhere I belonged. My years of experience still hold value that can be handed on to future generations.
I have to admit that for the first month I’ve thrown myself into my retirement career. I spend way more time on campus and in preparation than I really need to. This works for me. I need structure in my Life as I learn how to transition from an all-consuming career to retirement. As time goes by I’ll move toward more leisure activities. I can’t do that all at once. So far . . . so good. I feel like I’m where I need to be. It’s October in New England, and I get to spend a couple hours a day on a college campus. . . Sweet!