As another, and now my last, school year in Lodi approaches I am getting asked the proverbial question, “What are you going to do after you retire”? In the past, ironically, as I contemplated this same question, I relied upon the recommendation of those deemed to be professional retirement planners. After attending several of these retirement sessions two common factors, in one form or another, commonly surfaced as being important to a successful and healthy transition from a life scheduled around work to one of retirement.

The first important factor was deemed to be that you needed to have a plan for your first year of this work to retirement transition. The second important factor was that after years of a life scheduled around work, for one’s own health and well-being, a new life schedule would need to be incorporated and arranged for retirement.

So I listened, and I planned out my first year after retirement. The plan included, at the suggestion of the same retirement planners, taking my first summer and treating it like a longer than usual vacation. Once my summer vacation ended, I would have my retirement transition schedule in place with either a part-time job, volunteering, or some combination of both. It was obvious to me that there would be ample time, during my extended summer vacation, to make that determination.

There upon entered the following appropriate excerpt from Robert Burns poem “To a Mouse”; (translated)

But Mouse, you are not alone, /

In proving foresight may be vain: /

The best laid schemes of mice and men/

Go often askew, /

And so aptly did my retirement plan. However, not in the manner as described in the last stanza of this famous poem that reads:

And leaves us nothing but grief and pain, /

For promised joy!

Although my original retirement plan did go askew, there has been no grief or pain, rather it has resulted in several more years of enjoyment in watching the miracle of teaching, learning, and young people growing into adulthood. For being granted that opportunity, I will always be thankful and appreciative.

So, where to, what next, as another retirement looms on my horizon?

I’m working on a plan!

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