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May be the best time of my life…

So it has been two months since I have retired! I am loving every day. The last couple of weeks the weather has been hot and sunny. I am golfing a couple times a week and playing tennis several times a week. My very favourite thing is that I have time to do yoga every day. All these activities I tried to squeeze in when I worked full-time with some success, however, I love now that my whole day can be scheduled to do the things that I like.

I volunteered at my old school last week and two days this week. It is lovely to go in and have the kids running up so happy to see me. It is nice to have a chat with the staff that I worked with for many years. It is very wonderful to go in at the bell, help out and then leave mid day.

We opened our pool a week ago and because we’ve had such hot weather I’ve been in the pool almost every day.  I have been cleaning the pool area a lot as we’ve some ducks that are trying to take up residency. If anyone else has had this problem and has a solution please let me know.  Yesterday I put some balls in the pool that have faces on them as suggested in an internet site.  Hopefully this will work!

Before I retired I asked my husband to buy a good bottle of champagne as we usually just buy Prosecco when we want something bubbly. This past weekend we finally popped it open and shared it with a teacher friend of mine that I taught with my first 10 years. So I am still celebrating my retirement even though it has been two months. I told my husband to worry because I really enjoyed the Veuve Clicquot!

I cannot believe how much time I spend on Facebook and Instagram now. The funny thing is I never really used Facebook until a couple of months ago. I did read somewhere that it is addictive and all I can say is I am an addict!  My short term goal is to get 100 Instagram followers. Right now I am at 70. If anyone is interested please follow me @retirementpleasures   (Addicts have no shame!)

The other thing I am finding is that I am running a lot of errands now! My husband used to have Fridays off and would do a lot of our errands then. Now I find myself going to the bank and waiting in line, putting gas in my car (which my husband used to do for me), picking up items, calling places etc. It is now that I appreciate all that he did.

Another thing I particularly like about being retired is cooking from scratch as well as cooking healthier meals. I became a vegetarian last fall and it’s been a pleasure to try new recipes and have time to make muffins, smoothies etc.  I have been trying a lot of recipes from the Oh She Glows app. As well, in another month the strawberries will be ready here in Ontario and then as the summer progresses more fresh produce will be available.  We visit a farm about five minutes from us to buy produce. In the summer we visit it two to three times a week. It must be wonderful to live in a climate where you get fresh fruits and vegetables all year long.

I am also looking forward to going on trips that are already planned and booked. Next month my husband and I are off to Iceland for two weeks. We are driving around the ring road, the entire island, and we plan to do a lot of hiking. I can’t wait to explore this extraordinary land. I’ve also booked a trip to Jamaica with my friend Giselle at the end of November for two weeks.  As well, my friend Mary and I are going to Mexico the end of March for two weeks in 2019.  I am a certified yoga teacher and I work with a company that places me at resorts. I teach yoga while there in return for a very discounted holiday. So when I’m away with Mary and Giselle I will be teaching yoga. Which I love to do! So it is a win-win situation.

 

So as you see this may well be the best time of my life!

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Oh, I am retired now…

Since retiring I find myself running into people in the community during the school day and I always get a hello and then that look.  Teachers everywhere know that look. It says what are you doing here in the middle of a school day. Heaven forbid, we are off for a doctor’s appointment and stop by the grocery store on the way home. Then a parent from the school sees you and squints, nods and says hello. There is no smile with this hello and it is stated more like a question than a statement. The same parent that would usually ignore you now needs to say hello but really s/he wants you to know that they “caught” you. So I find myself saying hi to people and when given that look I am quick to say, “Oh, I am retired now.” Why? I know I do not need to say anything but years of explaining myself is ingrained.  I imagine this need to explain will continue until the end of this June and then I would be off for summer holidays when no explanation is needed. I will see by this fall if I can stop myself from this habit.

Since the weather has gotten nicer the last few weeks I have started golf and outdoor tennis. It feels like summer holidays to me. I think it might take until September to feel like I have really retired. It will be strange and wonderful not to head back to the classroom in late August to ready for another school year. I do not have any plans for that first week but I think I will make sure I am out of town doing something completely different. I do not want to run into people and feel the need to explain that I am retired!

 

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The Early Days of Retirement

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Well, I started my retirement off with a bang! I went to Jamaica for 2 weeks with my friend Mary. We are both yoga instructors and work with Fitness Pro Travel, a company that places fitness instructors at resorts. I get to stay at nice resorts for a fraction of the cost by teaching 1 – 2 yoga classes a day. Going away right after retirement was great; not only did I get to leave the snow and ice in Canada but I missed some storms while away. Going away for 2 weeks at the beginning of April was doing something that I was not able to do while teaching. It is also just great to get away from home and any routines that I might have fallen into. So, if possible, I highly recommend taking off soon after one retires.

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I have been home for over a week and I am still riding my retirement high. I have been waiting for so long it only took 5 minutes to get use to retirement. At times I think, wow, I am retired and I feel pure glee. I am eating healthier and I hope to start a routine with small weights. As well, I will add AM yoga with some pilates. At the end of April the tennis bubble comes down and then my summer tennis club starts after May long weekend so there is a bit of a transition time. I will be playing doubles 4 to 5 times a week. Golf, I plan to start next week. I will be playing in two leagues: 18 holes each Tuesday AM and then 9 holes Wednesday evening. Tonight I am attending the opening 9 hole league meeting and wine and cheese social.
Yesterday I took some treats and thank you notes to my staff at school. It was nice to see everyone and so nice just to visit! I will volunteer some time the end of May to help scribe for the grade 3 and 6 testing.
My husband is going to a conference in Toronto this Friday and Saturday and I will be able to tag along. I could not do this while teaching so it will be novel to go down Thursday night and stay by the convention centre. While he is attending the conference on Friday I will meet my friend Andrea, a retired teacher, and we will lunch etc.
So, I am enjoying the pleasures of retirement. Time, is a great gift to have, and I feel so fortunate to spend it how I like.

 

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Three Days Until Retirement

On November 1, I went to an EFTO retirement workshop. It took place after school and lasted 3 hours. A catered meal nourished us while we listened to a rep from EFTO and a rep from OTIP Insurance.
This was my second opportunity to attend a retirement info session. I was looking forward to the event as a stepping stone to my retirement. We sat at banquet tables of 8 and I took a minute to look around at my fellow soon to be retirees. As is at these sessions there is a bit of a range in ages, say early 50’s to mid 60’s. I have been feeling only joy about my impending retirement, however, I was suddenly struck with the feeling that this next step means we are all entering the FINAL stage of our lives. All of a sudden I started to picture people around the next table morphing from their present selves to seniors hunched over in a nursing home. This was the first time I felt scared and the reality that I am getting older. There is nothing I can do, so here I go entering the final stage of my life. Since I am only 55 I really want to embrace these early years of retirement when I am healthy. Act lll here I come!

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The not so exciting retirement plans…

As a teacher I always put off time consuming chores for the summer holidays. Although these chores  pictured above are not exciting I do like an organized, clutter free home so I look forward to tackling them before the summer holidays. I was going to take a photo of the disaster zone in the cupboard under my bathroom sink but it was such a crowded mess I just quickly shut the doors. That little space might take longer than my kitchen pantry. LOL

We have had a cleaning lady come to our home twice a month since we have been married and we love that it frees up our time for other things. So I had been wondering if I should take that role on when I retire and recently by husband mentioned it.  Since I will be off to Jamaica with a girlfriend the first two weeks of April I  said we should keep our cleaning lady for a while longer.  I am a bit torn on this issue so I think it best just to keep her and see how it works. I do love coming home after she has been here and feeling happy my house is clean and grateful that I did not have to do it.

So 10 more days of teaching; which will involve cleaning out my classroom. Maybe my cleaning lady can help….LOL

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Thoughts on my Impending Retirement

Thoughts on my Impending Retirement
So I’m about to retire in just over a month. In fact there are only 24 actual teaching days left. I have been looking forward to this for the last few years and finally I am starting to count days. I am very excited to not have to be tied down to a schedule and to those school bells! I look forward to going places when I want and doing what I please. I plan to spend more time being active. I love playing golf, tennis and doing yoga. In fact I am a yoga instructor and I have been teaching one night a week during the school year. I will miss teaching yoga but as I said earlier I do not want to be tied down to a schedule. I have been a member of Fitness Pro travel which has allowed me to travel and teach yoga. This is how I will spend my first two weeks of retirement; teaching yoga in Jamaica. It will be interesting to be teaching school 1 week and then off to Jamaica teaching yoga the next week. That’s a great way to begin my retirement! I’m also looking forward to more traveling. Imagine not having to travel on March break anymore! My husband and I are planning a trip to Iceland for 2 weeks, going mid June, and I could not be more excited. The pictures look amazing from our research online and we will do a lot of hiking. I’m also looking forward to spending more time with family and friends. My parents, aunts and uncles are aging and I am happy to be able to go more often to Peterborough. I also look forward to spending more time with friends and doing the above activities during the day instead of always cramming them into evenings and weekends. Also, I look forward to spending more time with my husband. He will still be working 4 days a week but it will be nice to spend more time with him when he is off. I became a vegetarian last fall and I look forward to expanding my cooking skills in this area.
So these are my hopes and my plans so far. I want to live a healthy retirement so I can enjoy all life has to offer for me. How do I feel? Giddy most of the time and just a little bit scared of such a big change in my life. Thank goodness for pension plans! It’s hard to believe that I will be getting a cheque and not getting up and going to work. Not getting up at my alarm! Not having difficult days with difficult students! Not doing all the paperwork!! What will I miss? I will miss those same students that were giving me a difficult day and I will miss the wonderful staff. I guess it’s the relationships that I will miss. And that is probably the best thing to miss!
So I will be appreciating my last couple of weeks at work while anticipating my new life in retirement.

15 Teaching Days Left!

Wow! I cannot believe I only have 15 teaching days left! I have six teaching days before March break and then nine teaching days after. My last day of work is the Thursday before Easter weekend. Since Easter is known as a time of rebirth it seems appropriate to me that that is when I retire. Reborn into a life without employment. I have not been sleeping well (more hot flashes) as well a I have been waking up and finding I’ve been clenching my teeth. I am not sure about anyone else but I find when I go through a major life change it often manifests itself physically. For example, I remember before I got married, I had eye tics that increased rapidly before the big day. Just the look a bride wants to have! At work I would say I am usually a happy person, however, staff members state now when I’m smiling it has to be because of my impending retirement. A few months ago there was an email offering an opportunity for staff to attend a workshop on handling stress. After reading that email I forwarded it to my principal stating I did not need that workshop but I was interested in a workshop on how to handle too much joy! When I do think about retirement I mostly feel giddy and excited. It even seems a bit surreal. Most people are worried about what they’re going to do with a lot of time on their hands, however, I am not worried in the least about filling my time. In fact I don’t like the phrase “filling” time as that seems like a chore. There is so much that I want to do, if anything I’m afraid I will over schedule. As a teacher I have had two months off every summer so I know what it is like to enjoy long weeks of holidays. When I first started teaching having the whole summer off seemed like such a long period of time. I often took additional qualifying courses for teaching. Back then the courses were for the month of July. Then I would have three weeks off in August and spend that last week back in school preparing for the school year. So really I had three weeks off. Finally, one summer I did not take a course and I never looked back. Since then I always taken the whole summer off. It’s a joke every summer when my husband and I go into a fast food place or a convenience store where there is a sign saying Help Wanted, he nudges me and tells me to get a summer job! I have loved my summers off and felt lucky that as teachers we get that long rest to renew ourselves before the start of a new school year. So on March 29th, 2018 it will be, as Alice Cooper said, school’s out forever!