I retired from teaching because my oldest was having a baby, and she asked me to retire so I could help her. I realized during the past year that there are quite a few different visions about what retirement is. Many see it as stopping everything. My youngest told me I wasn’t acting like a retired person. When I asked her what she thought I should be doing, she said I should be sitting around and taking naps. Others see it as a chance to travel and see the world. Some decide to try the career they always wanted to do, and some enjoy a quieter lifestyle and a chance to enjoy family. Retirement doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. It is your reward after years of hard work, and you can choose what you do with it. Here is what it has meant to me.

Family time

I had no idea my job had been taking me away from my family so much. I realize now that they each need me in a different way, and I am so grateful to have this time with them. I have had the chance to watch my grandson in his first year. I have watched the changes and become closer to my daughter as a result.


When I wake up, I can choose what I want to do, and I can do it at my own speed. I don’t have to rush or feel stressed. If I want to go to lunch with family and friends, I don’t have to check my schedule.

Chase a dream

Writing as a career was not feasible economically when I was teaching, and it was difficult to find the time. I have the chance now to do something I have always wanted to try.


Running is my medicine, but while teaching, I had to wake up at 4:30 to run before school. Now I can devote more time to what I love.


During my last year of teaching, I was tired all the time. I would come home and fall asleep on the sofa. I can rest whenever I need to now.


I take some time each day and curl up on the porch to read.

There are so many other things to add to the list, and when you retire, it is your list, not someone else’s.

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