Perceptions, point of view...it's all where you are in your life. The glass half full or half empty. You know what I mean. I just needed to write about the difference between a retired teacher and an actively working teacher.
My newly retired friend and colleague, Toni, retired this past June. This was the last year I would see her in the building. We lucked out and had lunch the same time so we had a daily dose of each other. We bitched and moaned, celebrated each time Ben was accepted into a college, shared concerns about health issues with ourselves and loved ones and enjoyed a cup of tea to make us more "civilized" for the afternoon. I listened while she talked about the paperwork, anniversary dates and tying up loose ends so that she can leave like the consummate professional she has always been. I tried many times to put myself in her shoes but it was too hard. As the last days of the school year approached, I teared up a few times knowing that I will not have my friend in the building with me when I return in September. Here's the where the word perception comes to play: While we were sitting in her beautiful home, I asked her how she felt when July 4th came and went. This is her answer: "In the past, I would freak when Independence Day was over because that meant my summer is slipping away and I would have to be at work in September. Now that I'm retired, no anxiety. Everyday is a vacation day!" Can I call my good friend a bitch? Yes but it's sour grapes on my part. I'm already panicking about how much I need to do before September rolls around and it's the 3rd week of July!
On the very, very bright side, my friend Toni did the smartest thing one could do. She bought a condo in Northampton, Massachusetts. Her gorgeous place is literally a 3 minute ride from WEBS, the best yarn store in the world (as of this moment because there could be others I don't know about!) Once a year, on my son's camp's visiting day weekend, I pay my respects to WEBS and then head over to Toni's to say hi. It happened again last weekend. Neal and I drove up to WEBS. I ran through the back looking for sock yarn for Ben but I was stopped in my tracks by the lack of sock yarn. In the past I had my choice of all different manufacturers and colors. This year the pickins' were quite slim. What happened? I think the May anniversary sale happened! Good for WEBS! Good for the economy! Bad for me! Don't cry for me, fellow knitter. I walked out with yarn to make 3 pairs of socks. I have my shiny white and blue bag emblazoned with the WEBS logo. It will go into my closet (or as my mother likes to call it, my warehouse!) Am I down on WEBS? No way. I love that store. I can walk around and get lost for hours thinking what I could make with this yarn or that yarn. Toni chose a good spot to retire in. It's not that far and I can make a Toni/WEBS run when I really need to.
So I would like to congratulate my friend Toni on her retirement. May it be a very happy, healthy and long one. Congratulations on a fine career and for picking a great place to live. See you soon!