I have been thinking some serious thoughts lately. I’m sixty years old. I hope to live another thirty years; a reasonable expectation given my family history, especially if most of my genes were pooled from the women in the family. Many of my great-greats lived into their eighties and nineties. I realize I have some health issues, but I’m working on them and I have a good doctor. I’m confident that we will be able to maintain this old body for many more years. If God has other plans...well, we all face that possibility.
I plan to teach for five more years. Then what? Giving some serious thought to the answer because two of my friends and several acquaintances are retiring this year. I don’t want to just take a “wait and see” approach. I want to start moving in a new direction and planning ahead. I know that I will not have enough Social Security or retirement income to just stay home and work in my garden, so I will have to find a way to generate some cash for at least a few years beyond my time in the classroom. I’m wondering if continuing in education as a substitute, tutor, or assistant will be the answer for me. I don’t see that as a physical reality unless a couple of my health problems completely resolve. I’m leaning toward greater use of my mind and creative skills.
One of my goals for the summer is to prayerfully consider what might be ahead for me and set a goal for retirement. In the past I’ve always assumed that I would return to writing as the basis of my income. If that is still the case then I’d better figure out what I want to write and how to make money doing it. I’m not going to be paying the rent with that dusty novel that has been in my closet for fifteen years!! Perhaps I should try my hand at a children’s book, or write about gardening or genealogy. Whatever I decide should be started now, so that I have some income established before I retire. Believe me, I have been very, very neglectful of my writing skills since I started teaching. It is amazing how focused one can become on the daily demands of the classroom.
So…as I’m puttering in the garden and stalking critters this summer I will give some thought to what else I might be doing in five years. It’s really a very short span of time.