|Minoru Pond in fall|
|Boston a few years ago|
I have been working full-time as a teacher for two weeks now. I'm teaching Resource and English Language Learners as well as working as the teacher-librarian. I have never worked at this school before so it's all new students and staff. The staff are young with small children and I could be the mother of any of my colleagues. It seems that I don't have time to clean the apartment, do laundry, shopping or write blogs. I've had to change doctor appointments, miss book club and forgo outings and walks with friends. After work, I am too tired to exercise.
|Westham Island Herb Farm|
skills. I miss children in my life. Our apartment is in turmoil as the construction continues with no end in sight and my husband has been suffering from ongoing health problems. Employment has seemed like a sort of deliverance.
The role of paid employment is different in every person's life. I learned early that the ability to earn one's own money brought independence. I could choose my own clothes if I was paying for them.
As a young adult, I could make my own lifestyle choices as long as I was not living under a parental roof. As an older adult, I can make the choice to purchase a more expensive item (or not), sponsor a charity or splurge on slightly more luxurious accommodation. If I make the money, I make the choices.
However, life is full of compromises. It is very early Sunday morning. I spent Saturday walking and visiting with my friends. I really enjoy going to church. I don't think of myself as devout but I am usually inspired by the sermons, I like singing (quietly), and I believe that a community based on faith and social justice is a positive gathering. On the other hand, there is housework, laundry....But I don't want to miss church...But I've bulbs to plant.
After working full-time for two weeks, I appreciate retirement. I was much less stressed working occasionally or in a familiar school. My internal balance and my sleep patterns are suffering. Exercise, friendship and some spiritual support are critical to my life as an older adult. As I write this blog, I have clarified my decision. A walk to church, a short service and a stop at the grocery for tomorrow's lunch would be more beneficial than dusting or washing the floors.
I'll plant the bulbs this afternoon before we go out with Maman for a birthday dinner. I will survive the next month but I don't think that I will repeat the full-time work experience.