For the past twenty-five years, Spring Break—a week off before or after Easter—was determined by the school calendar. It meant five days of sleeping past 4:30 in the morning, having more than twenty-three minutes to eat lunch, and going to bathroom on my bladder’s and not the bell schedule. It also meant grading over one hundred research papers. . . with “Works Sighted” pages and internal citations like: (Wikipedia) or (Google). The week was more like Spring Broken.
This year, Spring Break arrived early. January 18 to be exact; the day I retired as a high school English teacher. For the past three months, every day has been Spring Break minus the research papers. I still don’t think, though, that I’ve fully internalized this is my new life. It’s wonderfully discombobulating, but frightfully disorienting.
But, in the past week, I’ve come to realize that a pre-retirement workshop on transitioning to a life not ordered by eight ringing bells a day might have been helpful. Some days I feel like a human slug because all I’ve managed was to exchange my jammies for sweats and make lists of all the things I need/want to accomplish. Other days, I’m in the Indy 500 making pit stops to laundry to vacuum to dust to cook to grocery to weed gardens. Then there are days I read, I write, I internet.
Since my first novel was published in 2010, I've dreamed about the time I could devote my days to writing and to learning my craft.
It's time now to learn how to use the time.
P.S.This is the retirement video my students gifted me with the last day of school. I am so proud of what they did for me, and I wanted to share it with you.
Christa Allan is the author of Threads of Hope. Her other novels are Walking on Broken Glass, The Edge of Grace, and Love Finds You in New Orleans. You can find her at www.christaallan.com, Facebook, and Twitter.