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Retirement Actually Happening

In just four days I will be officially retired from the career I chose when I was in 8th grade.  I feel like I am writing my professional last will and testament.  I loved my job, and I want to bequeath my love for my work to you, my readers.  Yet for all that love, I AM excited to move on.

It took me many years, many obstacles, and much encouragement from a variety of unlikely supporters to reach my goals, but I did reach them.   My teaching career has been my life for nearly 25 years.  Now I prepare to retire from being paid to do what I love, to just doing what I love.

I remember laying in my bed at night as a child trying to bring my paisley curtains into focus, making up stories about the fuzzy shapes I could barely see as I dreamed about growing up and being a teacher.

No kidding these were my curtains!!!

I wanted to help change the world.  I wanted to help people who were not as well off as I thought I was.  I thought I might even want to work with children who spoke Spanish.  Working with Spanish-speaking children was one of those RANDOM thoughts out of nowhere.  I lived in Indiana where almost everybody with whom I came in contact spoke only English and had the same English, northern European roots I did.

I’m the smiling little one!

I ended up in Central California at age 33, still with no degree to teach, but there were finally some folks around me that spoke Spanish.  In fact, more people spoke Spanish than English in Ivanhoe, California where we moved.  I eventually had the privilege of being a bilingual teacher.  Trust me, the students that I dreamed about teaching when I was in 8th grade had just as much to teach me as I had to teach them.

When I moved into administration and worked at the County Office of Education, I had a brand new learning curve to tackle.  My new job involved mostly staying current in the ever-changing, frantic-paced field of education so that I would have something of value to offer teachers.  As usual, I learned much more from teaching than my teachers learned from me, but that is the way of it.  If you want to learn, try to teaching.

In four days I will leave the frantic pace of public education behind for something that MAY be more relaxed.  At this point in time, I can’t visualize RELAXED because I have so much to do in the next four days.  I have two more schools for Williams’ visits.  I have reports to write.  I have a day or professional development to prepare.  My computer is loaded with old files that need to be cleaned out.  My office is still not completely packed.  AND……………………………………

At home my husband wants to pain the office before we get two more bookcases to house all my treasures.  I talked him out of new flooring and a door instead of a window to be finished before Thursday.  I don’t have a place cleared out for my 11 years of consulting STUFF.  I hate to throw ANYTHING away!  I tried to give Jennifer my notes on school improvement from 2002 so I wouldn’t have to throw away a tree, but for some reason she didn’t want them.  I’ve buried a lot of dead trees since I made the decision last month to retire.

Then my husband comes in and says, “I’ll help you.  We can put everything in the garage (the kiss of death) and go shopping for bookcases this week-end.  We can get to it TOMORROW!”

OK I’m getting it.  TOMORROW.  “Let’s sit down and have a cup of coffee.  Want to go for a walk?”

“It’s too dark.  You can take a walk TOMORROW.  Will they get mad if you go in a little late?”


So back to my bequeathal.   What I wish for you is that you love to learn.  I plan to learn something new and turn around and teach it to someone else as long as I live.  A little education will never hurt you.  Whether you choose to earn a degree in the next two to four years or NOT, just remember that either way you will still be two to four years older at the end of the journey.  (And soon you will be retired!!!) With an education you have options, skills and networks of professional friends.  Without it you don’t, but you are still older.

So here’s to learning – even in RETIREMENT.

But it may have to wait until TOMORROW!

27 replies »

    • I’m going to miss you, too. It’s still not real yet! The constant smiles will be tempered with tears when I don’t see you every day!! We will have to make the effort to stay close!


  1. Marsha, what a sweet tribute to you, your hubby and all those who have been blessed to know and work with you over the years. I love reading your blog and hope you continue to teach and inspire through your writing. Enjoy every minute of retirement-you’ve earned it!


  2. I seem to be doing it all the wrong way around, I’ve been retired, or rather a stay at home mum for the last 18 years and I want to start working now. I am trying to get it so that I can work in an area I love, I’m sure you know what that area is, the hard part is getting it to earn money, wondering if that is ever going to happen.


    • It is hard to break in to something, work for yourself, and try to earn a living. I tried it that way first. Then I finished school, taught, moved into administration, and have now retired – as of tomorrow. My pension isn’t nearly as large as if I had started at 22 rather than 37, but it is livable. And I loved my profession. Now I will add to that. Having tried it both ways, I would have to say that, for me, it is better to have a steady income. It also establishes a base of professional contacts. My dad became a professional photographer (or at least teacher of photographer) after his career as a heating and cooling engineer. I don’t think he ever sold many photographs. Now I will resurrect them, and see what they do. That’s a long reply, Leanne, to wish you the best, AND to encourage you to do what works best for YOU.


  3. Paula said it best….Happy for you but sad for me….. It was an honor for me working alongside you, you are a very special person who has touched many lives and you will continue in your new journey ahead….. I will definitely miss your face everyday!


    • Awwwww. I love you all so much. That was a WONDERFUL party. I was SO surprised!!! I loved my hearts. You are the special one. You brought so much love and joy into the office, and make us all feel special and loved every day.


  4. Thank you so much for nominating me for the Liebster Award. How much time do I have to Post it all. It may take me awhile to sort it out, that is to track it back and then forward.
    How are you doing now that you have been retired 3weeks and 4 days? I retired July ‘92. Took awhile to get the hang of it. That’s 20 years!


  5. So nice to have found what you wanted to do in life (so early in life) and live it to fruition. 🙂 I’m still searching for those answers. Here’s wishing you all the luck for a new life filled with travel, adventure, and new friends through blogging! Thanks for stopping by our blog, so I could find yours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello! I just found your blog, after you commented on mine. I hope you are enjoying your retirement! We have some things in common – retired from education, I like writing, photography and travel. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ok, we just became instant friends! Isn’t life grand. Did you blog before you retired? Why did you start. I’m still working on a book, Because of Blogging, and I’m looking for people’s stories about why they started blogging and what it has done for them.:) Do you have a story to share?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi. When I click on your polldaddy link, nothing happens. One day I am going to write a book about our sailing adventures! No, when I was working my life was very different. If you said to me seven years ago that I would get married again and live on a boat, I wouldn’t believe it! I’ve only been blogging for almost a year. I do it because I like writing, to have a sort of diary of what I’ve been doing, and because I like the fame and attention, hahahha!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Marsha! Great post – since I seem to have joined in a little late for the party, I wish you all the best and hope the experience so far has been encouraging, positive and relaxing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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