Nearly there now. One week on Friday. Most of the goodbyes have drifted past. Only the personal ones remain. I’m not one much for tears and such so would happily avoid these if I could . . . But I can already hear the admonishing lectures . . . ‘You can’t DO that! People need to say their goodbyes’. And yes, I know they do.
I feel now most keenly a need to dispense grace and peace to all around me as I go. It’s important to rule off under disappointments and grievances that have persisted. Let all of those disappear now as it really is obvious they don’t matter (and never really did anyway). All I can ask is that those against whom I transgressed can accord me that grace as well.
The school will continue to prosper. My presence has never been a necessary prerequisite for that. Others have done great work. The best I can say is that I helped them to do that. There are inspired and inspiring educators on the staff who will see to it that 2013 and each succeeding year will be great ones for the school.
After a number of conversations with the new principal I am certain she will be a good leader, worthy of the challenge. I’ve already told her not to phone me next year as she will be on the spot and will be in the best position to deal with the challenges.
Looking forward there are two quite distinct trains of thought thundering through my waking moments. One is the desire for a break; a rest. Ideally maybe a few months where I don’t have any timetable and can just be me. What bliss! The other is the need to continue to contribute and generally be useful to others. On the surface they may seem incompatible. Isn’t life always a little like that? Everything in tension and few things clearly seen?
Anyway, at the moment there aren’t too many potential employers knocking each other over to approach me. Maybe that isn’t all bad.
I have spent a working life time always having a job to do and responsibilities to meet. The responsibilities will remain, I am sure, even if different in future. The job is the thing that worries me a little. Who am I if I don’t have a job? Something tells me that is precisely the task I will need to wrestle with over the coming weeks and months. I really hope I can come to an appreciation of my worth etc. that is intrinsic. A little sad, I concede, but somehow I suspect I am not alone in that.
All in all, this is not such a bad place for a person to be. Peeking over the verge of retirement I am as much excited as anxious.
More to follow . . .