Run away! Run away!!!

When I first retired from teaching in 2014 and moved to Monte Vista, I had the idea of becoming a substitute English teacher at the high school. When I looked into it, and imagined walking into another classroom, I shuddered. That wasn’t happening. The whole idea gave me chills. I wondered how I could be THAT done with something I’d loved for the bigger part of 35 years?

I recently read — and reviewed — a novel that another reviewer called a “coming of age” novel. That’s kind of an important “tag” for a book, so I gave it some thought and decided the book Blind Turn is not a coming of age novel, not really, though the teenage character DOES a lot of growing up. The “mom” character in the book “grows up” every bit as much as her daughter does. “Coming of age” normally refers to that turning point between immaturity and maturity, something that happens in the late teen years, but in real life we do it all the time at all different stages of our lives.

I’ve done a few of those just in the past 10 years. The life I left behind 7 years ago seems very unreal to me. I have tried to identify the moment when that life ended (it was before I moved here) and I can’t pinpoint a precise moment. It was just a long process of discovering that it didn’t fit me any more. It had become too difficult and the rewards too few. What’s more, I saw it.

Why cling to one life
till it is soiled and ragged?
The sun dies and dies
squandering a hundred lived
every instant
God has decreed life for you
and He will give 
another and another and another”

Rumi, The Mathnawi of Jalalu’ddin Rumi, Vol 5, Persian Text

Or, in Goethe’s words: “Hold your powers together for something good, and let everything go that is for you without result and is not suited to you.”

But, I did end up spending a lot of time at the high school. It’s truly Bear’s favorite place to walk.

9 thoughts on “Run away! Run away!!!

  1. “Substitute your lies for fact” seems pretty apropos these days. I agree, coming of age happens more than once. Like retiring and voting, I think we should do it early and often.

  2. Retirement can be a time of wonderful growth and exploration of all the things you always wanted to do and couldn’t because of work demands. I think, too, that retirement sometimes occurs because we ‘tire’ of the work we’ve done for years.

  3. I knew it was time to retire when I was presented with the opportunity. I’m so very happy that I listened to my inner voice. I can’t imagine going back – even though I was approached to do just that last week. I laughed for a whole day…

  4. It is interesting when we are well and truly done with a chapter in our lives. A few months after I left my group family practice, I was heading to the airport early one Sunday morning. At the deserted intersection, I recognized the car of one of my ex-partners going in the other direction, from the hospital towards her home. I had the sudden shock of recognition that “oh yeah, they are still doing that, Susan’s coming home from a delivery”. It was so done in my system that I wasn’t even considering it anymore.

Comments are closed.