life, Poetry

The End – 20 years before retirement

On June 28, 2018, I walked out of ‘my’ classroom for the last time. I haven’t been teaching for the last three years thanks to the monster, but it was still my position and my room to come back to, if I was able. No more.

I went back to pick up this clown (I know, weird.) that I used to have in my childhood bedroom. I used him to teach about perseverance and hanging on when things get difficult so it seemed appropriate to bring him home and hang him in the garden. I had forgotten that I had about ten other boxes of teaching resources that I had created and stored away, as well as various toys and games.

Besides retrieving some stationary supplies and containers that I had bought myself, I also came across a file of photos and special thank you cards I had received over the years. Before I thought to have a look at them and focus on the good, I had to let myself wallow in the sadness for awhile. I tried distracting myself with feel-good videos on Facebook, but the words and emotions had to come out.


The End

The words won’t come

It hurts too much

Distract

Distract

This time the pain’s not physical.

The road stretches in front

Up hills and

Down

But you’re never prepared

For the S curve.

Suddenly

Life changes direction

Floundering

Stumbling

This pain is not physical.

What if?

How come?

Did I?

And the ever popular

Why me?

A career takes a long time to build

So many layers of learning

Acquired only through years of experience

Successes

Failures

But always growth.

Over

The end

No fanfare

No goodbye

Sorting through once important things

Leaving it all behind for others

Hopefully not for the garbage

This pain is not physical.

This pain is suffocating.


Heavy. As I’ve gotten older, my eyes have started doing this terrible swelling thing whenever I cry. I look like the poor kid from ‘Mask’ today. But, perspective has returned.

I can’t change the direction my life has taken, all I can do is make the most of where I’m going. I may not have had as many years as I would have liked to become the teacher I wanted to be, but I have so many wonderful memories. The feeling of knowing that you have touched young lives and started off their educational journey on a positive note, is priceless.

Eager students, brilliant colleagues, appreciative parents and the wonder and simplicity of kid art. These are the things I choose to focus on, instead of what might have been. Life only goes in one direction. I’m on a new path and I’m going to continue striving to do the best I can and be the best person I can be. In that way, nothing has changed.


Cherubic faces and cherished colleagues
Parents taking the time to acknowledge means so much
And even more from the kids! Love their phonetic spelling. 🙂

Toot toot! Such a thoughtful gift from a parent.

The list above was part of a time capsule project in celebration of the centennial of our school. I love how many of them spoke about extra play time after recess. Kids learn through play, and they know it.

I want to end this post on a lighter note with some of the cute and often mind-blowingly wise answers they gave to the question:

What advice would you give to future generations?”

– Follow what the teacher tells you to do. Have a really good life, be smart, grow up to be really proud about yourself.

– Don’t worry.

– I would give homeless people a home, I would make everything in the world free, I would make as much water as there could be, and I would make sure the world never ends.

– If somebody didn’t know they were being a little mean, I would like to tell them not to be mean.

– Take care of yourself.

– To be a good learner.

– That recess is an hour long and the time to eat their lunch is longer so they don’t have to rush, and that they get lots of playtime. Pets in the school, a bunch of flowers for the field and lollipops for life.

– Keep safe. Grow more trees.

– If they didn’t know how to fly a kite I would teach them.

– Don’t play with matches.

– Go west, that’s the best way to go. (🤣 Boy, I loved that kid! You can just imagine…)

– Know how to play video games.

– Give them advice on how to be a good spy.

– Listen to their teacher and love their family.

– Have fun and learn lots.

– Work hard.

– Love is the most important thing.

I’d say they pretty much have it covered. 😊

On a final note, I am so grateful for the support I have received from people in my personal life as well as many unmet fellow Spoonies in this new chapter. There is an awful lot of ugliness in the world and unfortunately that is often the focus in the news. There is also a lot of love, empathy and compassion flowing quietly underneath. Thank you so much to the kind souls who have reached out in support and understanding, it helps so much. Love is, truly, the most important thing.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

❤️ Amanda

When the going gets tough, hang on tight. Try again tomorrow. 💕

26 thoughts on “The End – 20 years before retirement”

  1. So absolutely wonderful. I have tears running down my face. We love you. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💖💖💖💖💖

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This was a beautiful post and truly emotionally filled! You are a pretty amazing woman and I am so thankful that I have the chance to get to know you! Thank you for sharing this great post Amanda and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda this post truly resonated with me and I’m sure you know why. It’s so hard to walk away from what you love even when you know it’s the best thing to do. I don’t know that this will ever not be a source of great sadness for me. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Angela, I know exactly why. It was such a difficult decision to make and on my ‘better’ days I still question whether I should have pushed myself longer. I know it was absolutely the right thing to do though. I will always miss it and feel a certain sadness too, but I feel fortunate to have at least had a career I loved for a little while. So many don’t even get to experience that. Have a great day! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How long were you working for? This feels surreal. Like this is someone else’s life and I’m just way too observant of it. I honestly don’t know that I’ll ever be ‘okay’ with this

        Liked by 1 person

      2. At my last job, it was 9 years. Honestly, it’s just been in this third year not working that I’m starting to get my head around it. How long have you been off work?

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      3. Such a hard decision to make, especially if you love your job. I fought it for a long time and dragged myself along, I don’t think it helped anybody, certainly not me. Aside from the constant mental gymnastics, I know it was the right decision for my health, and therefore for my family, and I would make the same decision again. That doesn’t change the push/pull of the individual and/or societal pressure, but I’m finally getting into the swing. One day at a time and many, many cups of tea later…

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much. No, not easy, just put one foot in front of the other… (can you hear the tune? reference from the King and I, I think😉) Thanks for the hug, sending one right back to you!💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very powerful and moving post. Your passion for teaching young people shines through in the beautiful, funny cards and letters. You’ve expressed your sorrows at closing one door and trepidations about the journey ahead so well, Sis. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post, and thanks for these reminders of the wonderful wisdom and insight of children and why being around them makes us all better people. I am sorry that retiring in the way you did meant leaving without fanfare or a retirement party. Please know that students, staff and families would surely have packed the venue to give you their heartfelt appreciation and best wishes. (Carolyn)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Carolyn! The sadness about not having a chance to say a proper goodbye is more about the kids, so many of them that I didn’t get to see again. Being the socially anxious nut that I am, an actual retirement party would have had me hiding in the corner! 😊 Yes, the wisdom of children – if only we could bottle it to keep sipping on through adulthood, 💕

      Like

    1. Thank you so much! It really was difficult and I still feel badly that I know I didn’t do as much with my last class, (which happened also to be the best class overall in my career, lucky me) but sometimes that’s just the way life goes, right? Thanks for taking the time to read and follow my blog, it means so much to meet new people and to connect with the blogging community. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to read my posts too. It has been so wonderful getting to know people and learning from everyone. Welcome to the community and happy blogging. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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