Friday, 29 July 2016

A week of retirement

So it's Friday, one week into retirement.  Actually I'm sure this applies to many retiring teachers; it does not feel like retirement yet as it's what usually happens.  It's the six weeks holiday.  So at the moment this feels like any other summer but I am sure that will change when September comes around.

I know,I know, you want to know how the tooth extraction went. Oh, you don't want to know.  Well I am going to tell you anyway.  It was savage.  It was brutal.  I had split the lower pre molar horizontally on my last residential in the Peak District some two weeks previously.  The tooth couldn't be saved so it had to be extracted.  As my dentist said, "usually do these in two minutes...". Oh yeah! Well the top part of the tooth sheared off and that meant digging around for 30 minutes trying to remove the root with nothing to get hold of.  There were drills, levers, the sweat from the dentist, my fingernails ripping into the chair.  Then came scalpels, more digging, crunching, a compromising position involving me and the dentist until finally it was out.  All of my lifetime fears of dentistry contained within a 30 minute trailer of what hell must be like.

Bravely, clutching my bravery sticker I stumbled out of the dentist, gauze plug in mouth shell shocked and facing the prospect of shelling out £2000 for an implant.  So much for my lump sum taking me on a trip around the world!

 The gap is now slowly healing and have to say the dentist was great.  He dealt with my fear and whinging admirably but also as the tooth refused to budge avoided the comments I would have made if it had been me doing something equivalent like removing old screws where the heads have snapped off.  It would have been " f*** these f****** screws.  I hate you" so lucky for everyone that I didn't go into dentistry!  (By the way can you put swear words in a blog?  Advice please.)

The other priority this week was sorting out the mounds of papers and resources I had to sort back at my house and generally clearing things after a very hectic last half term.  Two week long residentials, a camping trip with primary pupils, weekends away and various retirement dos had left me and the house in a fairly chaotic state.  House is now looking fairly respectable and papers sorted.  Everyone at work said oh just bin all the stuff that's yours.  It's true I have teacher resources and materials that I have taken from school to school some dating back to the 80's but as I will be doing some tutoring I thought it best to keep most things and see what I would need.

Tutoring you ask? Yes.  You see I do not want to stop work completely so I have a little tutoring job lined up that will involve working with young people at risk of permanent exclusion from school.  I will start in October so that I get to experience the thrill of not going back to work in September, and then it will be a couple of mornings a week. Just right.  I am also hoping to do a bit of freelance drama teaching. Really this amounts to one of the great things about retirement.  I will have a guaranteed income that means I can pick and choose the type of work I do.  That is a massive and new thing for me.  It also means I can volunteer for a local charity; doing something I value and enjoy without having to worry about whether it's sensible financially or in terms of time commitment. 

All in all not a bad first week.  The prospect of facing the weekly slog of  five days of 8-5, no proper lunch break and feeling permanently knackered has gone, disappeared.  In it's place is financial security and being able to do the kind of work I love at the times I want to do it.  Fantastic.  Looking forward to it all.  Existentially how does it feel?  That will have to wait until next time. 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Day 1 or should that be 3?

Well it seems like some kind of defining moment, a watershed, one of those rare moments when you know your life is going to change for ever.  Retirement.  It looms up at you and as it approaches you realise that everything eventually comes to an end- yes retirement has echoes of death.

OK so that's got the cheery stuff out the way. The blog title? Retired? That's self explanatory, but "not retiring-?" That's a reference to the fact that I'm quite outward going, extrovert some might say.  Others would say loud and lairy.  The blog is me putting myself out there so not a retiring type of fella also I'm hoping to still do some work so in that sense I am not retiring.    A couple of what are now ex colleagues and friends suggested the blog so I thought I would give it a go and I hope it may be of interest to others as I navigate a post retirement existence finding new adventures and challenges and hopefully finally getting to grips with the appalling state of my physical fitness.

So it's Monday now and I retired on Friday.  How did I welcome in this new world of opportunity? Start that novel, do some mindfulness exercises, start my blog?  No, I got pissed and fell asleep with a quiche in the oven.  Waking up after falling asleep on the sofa, my first day of retirement was marked by a strange dark mist around me and the sound of my fan oven as it turned quiche into carbon.  The rest of the day was spent trying to recover and I realised this was really the end of a 7 week retirement party and that at 60 I would have to make sorting out diet, fitness and health a priority.   Trouble is I said to my partner that we would go and have a slap up meal in celebration.  So that 's what I did yesterday.  And very yummy it was too.  I think the change to diet and exercise is going to be tough.

Now I'm fully aware that so far this is all a bit prosaic (you reader may think boring) and hardly enlightening.  My hope is that as I get into my blog, nuggets of wisdom and insight will emerge and physically I will transform from a an adonought into an Adonis (albeit Adonis with white hair, a bit on the short side and not particularly heroic) .  This process has begun!  The chocolate and maltesers have been cast into the bin, a fruit based smoothie has been created and consumed and I have begun my journey.

That's it really for today as I now have to pick up my last belongings from work and then have a tooth out.  The adventure will start tomorrow.