Entry #1: September 16, 2o17 – Endings and New Beginnings
I know I’m empowered to live my best life at any age. Yet I still need to work through a definite ending, a transition period, and a new beginning.
I attended a faculty retreat Thursday and Friday. I’ve known many of my colleagues for several years. Once I leave in 15 months, it is unlikely that I’ll have much contact with most, if any of them. We will be living different lives. The reality of something coming to an end is starting to sink in. I’m looking forward to “doing my own thing” after retiring, but I’m also starting to feel a bit sad at this point.
Like most everyone else, I’ve been through my share of transitions. Some of them have been anticipated. Others were sudden. When I went through a divorce after 25 years of marriage, it was unexpected and sudden. What was familiar had ended. I didn’t have time to anticipate the change I was about to experience. Nonetheless, I still had to go through a similar process to the one I’m going through now.
When my first marriage ended (several years ago), I read a wonderful book by William Bridges called Transitions that helped me understand the process of change. I also had to start visualizing the kind of new life I wanted after what I had was gone. The good news is that I ended up with the life I really wanted– I just didn’t know this until what I once had no longer existed.
Fortunately, retirement is something I’m anticipating. I have had time to plan for this transition. I do have a clear vision for the life I want after I leave teaching. Because part of my plan in retirement is to do some speaking, I’ve been speaking outside the classroom on a regular basis including my recent TEDx talk and a keynote presentation. Next month I’ll be presenting as part of a community lecture series and then I’ll be doing a presentation as Susan B. Anthony; that should be fun. I’ve also been asked if I would do some speech coaching. I’m starting to think it’s going to be a very busy year.
I realize that I need to start “becoming” who I am going to be after I am no longer teaching. The identity I have will change. Even though I feel a bit anxious about letting go of what I’ve known for many years, I’m still excited about all that is ahead. I believe the best really is yet to be. I am empowered to choose the life I really, really want. How cool is that!