June 2016 to June 2017 passed quickly, as the years seem to do. Suddenly, I can’t say, “I just retired.” Suddenly, I’ve been retired for a whole year and the notion that I’m not going back is beginning to sink in. Over the course of the year, I’ve developed some true, but trite, responses when people pose the usual question, “How do you like retirement?”

“What’s not to like?” I laugh. “It’s great! I love seeing more of my grandkids, catching up with old friends, having more time to read and write, and simply the slower pace. I didn’t realize how demanding my job really was.”

What I don’t tell them is that sometimes I cry. I cry when I wake up and realize I’ve had yet another teaching dream. I cry when I notice that my daughter (a teacher) and I don’t talk shop as much as we used to. I cry when I sort through my school memorabilia and find a touching note from a student or unexpected thank you note for helping a colleague. I cry when I return to my school and feel like an outsider. I cry when something I post on Facebook generates responses from former colleagues, sharing how I impacted their lives. I cry because at times, I simply miss the life I loved…the life of a teacher.

Retirement is for real. Retirement offers many benefits. But there will always be a sense of wistfulness when I remember my teaching days and sometimes I cry.

About the Author

Hello, My name is Rita Kenefic. I’m a retired reading specialist and a wife, mother and grandmother.  Although no longer employed, my passion for literacy has not waned. When I’m not enjoying my family and friends, I’m reading, writing or tutoring. I’m a member of PAWLP and SCBWI. Currently, I’m working on a series of picture books for children and maintain a blog, Nurturing Literacy (www.helpurchildread.com ), to support  parents and grandparents.