Saturday, February 20, 2016

Retired Life

Often when people hear that I am a teacher, a common response is, "I would get bored during the summer without working." I usually nod and smile and say something a long the lines of 'i always manage to keep myself busy.' To me, summers are the chance to do all the other things I love. Sometimes reading, napping, gardening, and surfing the web. Others its running, mountain climbing, kayaking, road trips, biking, or craft projects. In all honestly, September is always a hard month when I go back to teaching full time and all of my hobbies get pared down. It is impossible for me to indulge in all the things I like to do during the 10 month school year. I often have the summer blues where wondering how I have enough time to do ANYTHING aside from working.

Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. Summers off is an added bonus to enjoying what I do (most days) from September to June. Maybe if I had the entire year off I'd run out of things to do ( I doubt it) but I certainly don't during the summer months. I often joke that each summer I get a brief idea of retired life. Visiting my folks in Southwest Florida confirms this.

This past week I was lucky enough to travel to Florida to see my parents. Our week was quite packed. A family joke is that they live at summer camp or a cruise ship. While it isn't technically a retirement community, the majority of the neighborhood is retired.

I flew in late Sunday night, which worked great for me to have a whole weekend to relax, pack & hang with friends. On Friday night I went to my first ever comedy show- in theory they give me a lot of anxiety. The unfunny jokes and heckling was something that had prevented me from going in the past. Thankfully the jokes were pretty good and I wasn't heckled!

I ended up in Fort Myers sometime before midnight on Sunday and was picked up by my Mom. Once arriving home, I hung out with her until way past my bedtime but it was nice to be together. I did get to bed by 2 knowing that I had a full retiree in training day ahead of me.

Without Marcy (dog) or an alarm I slept in to 8:30. Which was lovely. Marcy doesn't usually allow sleeping in past 6:40. 7 :30 if she's feeling generous. I was slow moving, but eventually made my way outside for a run (10:45am)

By about 2pm, it was time to head over to Bocce. My mom had knee surgery a week or so ago, so I was a stand in for her. I had previously played in a bocce league in DC and subbed for my mom last february, so I'm nearly ready to go pro.

We played two games, lost our first but came around in the second (where I did infact get our last winning point!) After the bocce socialization, we headed back home to read and relax before heading to the buffet dinner at the club house and bingo.

I love bingo. I've loved it since Junior year of college.

Obviously, I'd fit in just fine in a retirement neighborhood (minus the requirement of no jeans or t-shirts at the club house.) We were sat with some folks from LI (who were negative nancys about life in general) and a couple from outside of Utica. I'm not sure if the planner purposely placed us with New Yorkers, but it helped to have some common ground when sitting with strangers. (also similar to dining with strangers on cruise ships)

The meal was good and bingo was fun, although expensive for just one bingo board. One lady at our table did win, but otherwise the rest of us donated money to the fund. (whatever that may be- I asked a few times, no one seemed to have an answer.) I was one away from a cover-all though! My new favorite variety is called "last man standing" All players stand until a number on their board is called. Its the one time having a useless board comes in handy, and naturally each time we played that way, I had an awesome, traditional bingo winning game.

Retired life isn't so bad.


  1. I think people don't get how hard teachers work during the year. I know everyone works hard, no matter their career, but teachers rarely have time for ANY of their relaxation and fun stuff during the school year. Summers are the only time I have to catch up on what I like to do! I'm glad you got to have some time off and enjoy FM!

  2. I think it's a personality trait of some people that like to engage their minds/bodies and have lots of hobbies. I do not think I would get bored with early retirement. I'd actually have time to do the things I love. You are so lucky that you get a large chunk of free time to do it, even if it means you are busy the rest of the year.