Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sllice of Life Day 18: What is This Chapter of Your Life Called?

As I was driving to church this morning with the radio on,  I heard the d.j. say: "So, what chapter of your life are you on?  What would you title this chapter?" Made me stop and think! He continued on by challenging his listeners to contemplate this question.  As we move through life, some parts are just naturally obvious like: Growing Up Years or Newly Married Years or Frantic Family Years.  But, I had to stop and think about what chapter I was on and what I would title it.

I know I am finishing my 43 year career as a teacher.  I know I am in the middle of thinking about what I am going to do next.  I know I am not only a mom but now a grandmother of 11 (almost 12).  But, what chapter is this?

I would lean toward the ending of a career because that will be happening in just 50 school days. That is what has caused me the most concern lately. I have been doing a lot of reflecting.  I look at what teaching was like 43 years ago. I remember how we met as teachers after school in one of the classrooms and discussed if women should be allowed to wear pants to school. I remember when students would get 15 minutes for recess in the morning and afternoon and a half hour after lunch. I remember not starting school until after Labor Day and being done after Memorial Day. It's good to reflect.  So, should I call this chapter: The Reflecting Years?

The other thing that is big on my mind is trying to decide what I want to do next.  This fall will be the first time in about sixty years that I have not done the "back-to-school" thing. What will I do instead? One of my already retired friends told me, "Summer doesn't end the first of August." Wow, that was a startling thought.  It doesn't? I can continue to finish whatever book I am reading out by the pool.  I can continue to take long walks in the early afternoon. I can even take a nap! But, I might want to help some of my teacher friends every once in a while with their kiddos.  I might want to continue to help with curriculum every once in a while. I might want to just play with my grandkids! So, should I call this chapter: What's Next Years?

In our sermon today from James 4:13-17, one of the topic-questions was: How should I live?  The answer was: I should do good in this world...and be prepared for the NEXT.  I guess, whatever I am doing right now and whatever I decide to do next, that should be my motto: Do good in the world and prepare for the next.

So, what are you going to title this chapter in your life?


Tam said...

I taught 22 years, married 42 years, have 4 grandchildren, and have been retired for almost 2 years now. The first year of retirement, I didn't get the whole idea yet--just enjoying much stress relief. This second year, I began volunteering at school, the library, etc. I enjoy being gone weekends now without being too tired. I have more time to be with my grandchildren, too. Chapter name?? You won't be able to name it until you've done it for awhile. Enjoy your last few days. I love Dave!!!

Betsy said...

I will be thinking about this now too, naming the chapters. I love the idea of chapters, my mom and I always joke when we are frustrated about this or that, "it's a short chapter!" I figure as long as my whole story is a good read, I am doing okay.

Dana said...

What great reflection questions presented on the radio. I'm going to have to ponder those. 43 years in teaching. Wow.... that is just amazing. Congrats on your upcoming retirement!