A colleague commented this morning that I might be susceptible to “senioritis,” which, if you recall, is the phenomenon when high school seniors become short-timers – in this state they produce nothing, or very little. The term applied to me now heading into retirement suggested that I might find it challenging to work as hard as I have been, now that the end of a career is in sight. Might I expect to goof off?
So far, what I’ve done recently is focus more intently on what really needs to be done and what matters. And let small stuff go.
Senior-itis is a double entendre for me, because the big seven 0 looming ahead next week raises little inner voices of trepidation about aging and facing what T.S. Eliot referred to, I think, as “the failing pride in the failing powers…” That kind of seniority is not a party.
So, do I have this itis? I feel like I’m experiencing the normal state of used-upness at the end of a very full week. I recall being this worn after teaching any old week when I was forty or fifty. It’s a high energy demand kind of thing, this teaching, to do full on, all day.
What is happening to me during this evening stroll on the boardwalk, as I become the happy go lucky graduate from my career, is I’m tending to pay even closer attention to my work as service to kids and teachers and give less — even disregard — the fruitless, distracting noise. No, I’m not checked out. I’m aware it’s all brief.