Who retires at 57? ... Meeee
When I was teaching, every day at school was a day nearer the weekend or a holiday, and I actually loved teaching (well, the teaching part with the students… the politics of teaching suck!) Having the odd ‘Duvet day’ when I would take some time to just re-charge was essential. Then came the idea of retirement.
Serenity is an angel to me, and her amazing success has, in large part, enabled me to give up teaching, to “quit while I’m ahead”. It has been eight months since I stood in front of a class, and I would be wrong to say I don’t miss the students. I taught for over twenty years, and students were nearly always delightful, funny and sweet. Once they had left school and University, many became friends.
I do miss the routine… I always laid out my shirt tie, cufflinks and decided on what watch to wear (I have a small collection) the night before school, but that is no longer an issue. My cufflink box lies dormant and my jackets hang like executed prisoners in my wardrobe. Days became merely periods of daylight between periods of darkness. I occasionally forget what day it is, and the special excitement of a Friday night and the promise of a fun weekend before the inevitable ‘drag’ of Monday morning is no more…
I’ll admit I was a little concerned about what I would do with my time when I finished work…Would I become a sort of ‘Jabba the Hutt’ figure, sitting in front of the TV demanding to be ‘Moisturised'? Or (less likely I know) would I start to know all the Latin names of plants, understand the process of wallpapering and house painting… would I swap my suits for corduroy dungarees and start watching gardening shows on the box?
As it turned out, neither of those things happened. First, I read all the books (NOT historical) that I had never got around to reading, then I started to delve deeply into various historical periods… I would become obsessed, for example, with 17th century pirates, and go around the house saying ‘Arrr me hearties', and driving everyone mad… Or I would fixate on Medieval Europe, or the Cold War. This led me to re-discover my childhood passion for historical modelling (NO not dressing up as Ben Franklin and striking a pose) I mean making model kits and then painting them to look as realistic as possible… this meant making them look dirty and beaten up… oh what fun… After a while of this I began to feel the urge to reconnect with another of my childhood passions…Music.
I have played the drums since I was 12 or 13, and up until we moved to NZ I was involved in playing and recording. Serenity bought me a new electric drum kit so I could programme the kit in any way I liked, and this developed into what I have now… a recording studio (called ‘Purefinder’… which was a Victorian occupation tracking down and collecting dog poop!) fully equipped with 24 track recorders, a vast range of guitars, drums, microphones and amplifiers…all I need now is more talent!
Serenity and I do most of the recording ourselves with friends adding tracks as and when they can. It is a great set up, and one that I think I can settle down with now.
Is it better than working?... Too *#@*%# right it is!
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