The Wonder Years

When I was teaching full time, with a commute that really bit into my day, I felt like my life was running on a wing and a prayer. Laundry piled up until the weekends. Utensils and socks were thrown unsorted into their drawers. Meanwhile, my best energy went into my classroom. It was clean, bright and orderly, and I never left for home until I had everything set up for the next morning.

I started my teaching career in third grade. Eventually I taught all the primary grades. All of them were my favorite. But I learned the best way to run a classroom in kindergarten. The room was divided into centers, and the children smoothly rotated through them like well behaved performers in a three ring circus. I had an idea. During the summer months, I sorted my home: my gardens, kitchen, laundry room, and bedrooms into centers to maintain some semblance of order. It worked for me.

Then I retired. The lockdown year of the pandemic that quickly followed my retirement date gave me the needed discipline to stay in and focus on my neglected home. I fine tuned each of my centers. I cleaned up and cleaned out. I relished simple tasks, like gathering together the scattered garden tools, oiling them, and putting them away in the tool center. I’m telling you, these little things take time, and time isn’t what I had before retirement. I hear people say they’re busier now in retirement than when they were working. Not me.

What’s it like to be retired? Retirement is waking up to a gentle internal body clock instead of an annoying alarm. It’s like being a kid again, with the prospect of a whole summer day ahead to play in. I have headspace to wonder and time to explore whatever I find interesting. Every day feels like a Saturday. Retirement is freedom. I hope I never take this for granted.

Best of all, the deadlines are gone. The only deadlines in my life are the ones I self-impose. The choices are mine, and there are no consequences to suffer for any failure to meet one. I don’t make resolutions. The farthest I’ve gotten with fitness goals is thinking about them. I have projects waiting for me around the house, but I don’t stress out about them.

Which is interesting to me, because I have had success in achieving my OMG every month I’ve participated in this challenge.

April was my sixteenth month, and this is my sixteenth finish:

Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt
I rolled along, tacking it every five inches.
Backside view

The top was completed years ago and waiting for the right finish. When inspiration finally struck, the rest was easy.

I enjoyed learning how to do this, and I tied another quilt this month with a friend.

Charity donation for a picnic-themed basket

7 thoughts on “The Wonder Years

  1. I loved reading this post. It really resonated with me. I retired at the end of June last year. It is so nice to not be woken by an alarm clock and do whatever you please each day. I now see that I was nearly always like a tightly strung wire, as my work was so busy and stressful. We are now entering that stage where we wonder how we had time to go to work, but nothing is rushed. If it does not happen today, there is always tomorrow. Spending time on my stitching is now a regular part of day, rather than being a snatched moment whenever I could fit it in. Life is good.

    Liked by 1 person

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