Three months down the road, I can report that it does feel good, very good. Free. Liberating. Peaceful. Restful. Stress-free. Joyful. Happy!
The Saturday before my colleagues headed back to the class room, we celebrated a "Tanya's Not Going Back to School" party at here at the farm. The cake, a gift from Charlotte Hatfield, Lori Fahn, Pam Plaskett, and Carol Garoza, summed it up:
And the Thursday night before, my beloved Bobbi showed up totally unexpectedly at the door. A huge, wonderful surprise. One that filled my heart with joy and bubbly love. Samuel didn't make the fiesta, but having the two girls at home for a long weekend was more than I had ever envisioned. It'd been a long time since we all hung out here, and it took zero time to move right back into our crazy farm humor and laughter. Eliza got to hang out with her sister and fellow Scorpio; I had some special Bobbi time, and the three of us were together for some good fun and talk. Over the top wonderful.
With assistance from Christy Veladota, Eliza planned and carried out the party. She wanted to honor her mom, and that meant the world to me. E's such a beautiful woman, inside and out. Organized. Efficient. Loving. Caring. I am so blessed to be her mom, and I love watching her blossom and grow.
Many folks ask me what my plans are in retirement, and I've been amazed at the suggestions others have for me. "Hey, you could do this. Or that" "Have you considered applying for this position or that position?" "Why don't you try project A? Or B?", etc. My honest response is that I'm giving myself one year (or longer, should I so desire) to do exactly what I want to do, and if that is spend the day without crossing a thing off my list, then so mote it be. I've worked all my life living by the guidelines and dictates of others. It feels just great to know I don't have to do that anymore. I can be the master of my own fate! YIPPEE !!!! Highly recommended (for anyone who is on the fence about retirement life!)
What I have decided so far:
learn to play mah jong. I joined a group that meets once a week, and I'm hooked. I even mah-jonged twice one afternoon.
join a book club to jumpstart reading again. It's been a while since I had a book in my hand to read for pure enjoyment. I found that looking studying textbooks for almost 4 decades. diminished my desire to read for pleasure. Fittingly, just this past week, I was invited to join a local reading group.
And that's it for now. I'll visit my mom frequently, make some paper, play with photographs, see friends, and play around the farm. For once I'll be able to tend to a fall garden. The corgis and I should get ample exercise, as well.
I have not experienced any sort of nostalgia as the school year has begun. The highlights of my career have always centered on my students and their growth. Perhaps I'll miss my contact with them, but as yet, I don't sense their absence greatly.
The bottom line: Tanya Wilder is loving her early morning conversations with her high school friend, Terri, is joyful at the freedom of taking a walk whenever she desires, is delighted to have time for fall chores around the farm that NEVER got accomplished previously, and is eager to score a few more mah jongs, make some paper, and listen to music all day!