It’s the second day of meetings and trainings at my school district. It’s also day 2 of Whole 30 for me, a food cleanse. I was out for my 2 mile walk-with-intermittent-moderate-running mixed in. As I came up the side street near my house a neighbor was pulling up to intersection in her little blue VW bug. Laura rolled down the window.
“Are you retired?” she asked. She’s a teacher, too, but at a different school district. At first I was surprised, then I realized it was the likely explanation for me not being in my car, usually a bit earlier than her.
“Oh! No, I’m on my way to a training this morning. Kids start next week.”
And we bid each other good luck. And I was a teensy bit late for that training this morning which is very out of character for me. I reset my departure time for tomorrow.
Year before last I engaged in the fantasy that I was retired, but was just showing up for my day gig because I value my work life. “Yeah, how’s that working out for you?” my sarcastic friends and colleagues wanted to know. I think it helped. A lot.
Last year I didn’t have a master plan…except survive a new principal and try to have a life.
Well, this school year, as I really am closer to retirement, I think I have the mantra. It occurred to me a couple weeks ago that
1) I’ll never be young and pretty again
2) nor will I be slim,but
3) I want to be fit. That much I can do.
I think my tactic with school this year is to not buy into the numbing and stay fit and alert. Many of us teachers know the numbing with food, complaining, booze, etc. that we think helps us cope with the sheer exhaustion of teaching.
Yes, I have drawings on my desk and healthy reminders of vacation to prompt me to not obsess over my job.
So I am putting more energy into exercise expecting it to give back. Wow, if I put my 10 minutes of meditating in there, too, without getting up at 3:00 a.m. I’d be cooking. So far, except for moments of feeling a bit weak and shaky in the afternoon, I feel great eating whole foods and avoiding the processed flour, sugar, alcohol, etc. that’s on the NO list. The yes list has so many things I really like.
So, no I’m not retired. I’m not living like I’m retired. I am working on fitness. And showing up for those meetings and contributing where I can.