I have had plans in the works for a number of years. The deal with my husband is that I would retire when I turn 62. That happens to be this February 11th, and I really can’t believe that it is real. Where did the time go? It has just snuck up on me. (Of course, I would not retire until June, at the end of the school year).
When I read Jackie’s blog post on Butting Heads Farm – the Art of Aging, Part 1 about aging and what can be accomplished home on the farm while working a full-time job, I realized that we have been maneuvering ourselves toward this goal for a good number of years (I have had to let go of our sheep, our yearly meat chickens, and our yearly feeder pigs in order to keep things sane). I have only told a few coworkers and close friends so far, but it’s finally here for me. I am retiring at the end of this school year (!), and I am hoping to be able to totally give myself over to the farm and to weaving, spinning, knitting and felting from then on. The money issue will be difficult for awhile, but hopefully I won’t have to go out and get a whole other full-time job. I feel bad for all my coworkers who retire and a year or two later have to go back to work full-time, but most of those folks are single. I am blessed to have a partner who has a few sources of income, and with my NJ pension, my Maine pension, and a little bit of Social Security, I might be okay. (Although Maine is one of the two states in the U.S. who believes that getting SS and a teacher’s pension is “double dipping,” so the SS that I paid into in NJ is going to be drastically cut back when I start collecting because of my Maine teacher pension. It’s a real bummer).
And so it goes. I am frantically trying to make sure that things at work are going to be perfect for whoever replaces me, but we all know that that is a losing proposition. It will be what it will be. But I am having a wonderful time reading the seed catalogs and thinking that I can actually do a little more in the garden because I won’t be starting back into work by the middle of August, and unable to process the tomatoes and the eggplant that are just really coming ready at the end of August.
I can’t believe that I only have 80 some workdays left in my job as a Library Media Specialist. It’s been a wonderful career, and it won’t be easy to give up. But I do think that I will be having breakfast or lunch with my retired teacher peeps on the first day of the new school year. And there will be champagne or wine involved!!!