Sunday, March 02, 2008

Retiring from "Retirement"

I’m supposed to be retired. Oh sure, I ‘m paid to teach a couple of classes a year and to write a monthly column for the paper I founded. I suppose the money means I’m only semi-retired. But, believe me, the pay hardly makes the work worth my while. I teach and write because I love to.

Still, when teaching and writing the column are added to everything else I do, I don’t feel retired at all. I’m busier now than I have ever been. Retired? Semi-retired? You’ve got to be kidding.

Recently I’ve thought I should take a mid-week “retirement day.” A day to just sit around and read or help out in the yard or take a long walk or comb a beach or hang out with a friend or noodle around on the piano or paint an oil or watercolor.

I find such a day inconceivable. I always have a long list of self-assigned tasks. One of which, by the way, is a daily entry on this blog (more on that later).

Beyond taking a “retirement day,” I’ve thought about what it would mean to retire from my “retirement.” That would mean really, REALLY, retiring. No more volunteering in the neighborhood. No more volunteering to work on media literacy. No more volunteering to put out an on-line community newspaper, the Hillsdale News, every other week. No more volunteering to put on typewriter exhibits. No more committees at the Quaker meeting.

And, as noted, there are these daily postings on the Red Electric.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going for a sudden, bring-down-the-curtain retirement from “retirement,” but I do plan to experiment.

You may visit here in the future (Tomorrow? Thursday?) and find that I’ve let a day or two or five go by with nothing posted.

Enjoy the silence. Enjoy MY silence.

I probably will give up teaching after next year. I’ve been saying that each year for three years, but this time I’m serious. For one thing, I keep talking about newspapers in my journalism class. Increasingly I am met with puzzled looks. Newspapers?

I’ll keep a hand in Hillsdale matters, but no new initiatives. Someone reminded me the other day of the adage, “Pick the low hanging fruit.”

There’s more to say about all this, but I’ll save it for another time, which may or may not be tomorrow.



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