Our grand kids are back to school. 9th, 7th, 5th & 4th grades. They're growing so fast. It's unbelievable. What's equally unbelievable is that this is the 14th year I am NOT returning to school in whatever capacity I may be serving-either classroom teacher, lead teacher or math/science specialist.
So, you may logically ask what exactly have I accomplished in 14 years? Hmmmm...I wish I could just list tick off one item after another of all the great things I've been doing but, well, I just can't. It seems to have changed from one year to the next. For example when I first retired I was on jury duty and actually got on a case, then there was my first born grand daughter who I watched a couple of days a week, then we were undergoing an addition on the house that took some time. Then after that I started subbing back at school and volunteering. Interspersed in all of this were more grand children, volunteering in assisted living facilities & the schools, yard projects and on and on it goes with each year changing slightly.
Now here I am 14 years down the road, the kids are all older and in school and need less of my time. But I still volunteer, we still live on a big piece of property, I golf with friends, and I just seem to find ways to fill up the days.
Now my wife is nearing retirement and she's facing the same challenges. What to do? It's hard going from working full time to not. I was lucky. Things just seemed to come along naturally and I'd go with it. My wife will have more difficulty. Sure, she has interests but there's still a lot of time to fill. But she'll figure it out. Things will come along, routines will be established and the next thing you know we'll wonder how she had time to work! That's always what happens.
Here's some free advice: don't wait until your last day of work to think about this. Start a few months in advance. Have a plan-maybe a loose one-but a plan nevertheless. That should help.