Retirement means different things to different people. For some it is the sheer joy of not working…kicking back and relaxing. For others it is travel, while for some it is hellish boredom.
For me it is doing exactly what I want to do. And that, of course, is shooting and editing. In moderation with a fanciful mix of other activities.
In news I was out and about every single day, going where ever the desk chose to point me. Of course occasionally I turned the tables and told the desk where the news was and where I was heading. Some days were good, some bad, some beyond explanation (like the day I got sent to three different cities in three different counties running like a mad dog only to have each story vaporize before I got there). Nine parts fun to one part uh-uh.
News at least had some sense of freedom.
Teaching? While I enjoyed opening up young minds to the world beyond their ‘hood, it was harder work than I’d ever done before. Daily lesson planning, parent conferences, and the damned education standards and standardized testing. Three parts fun to seven parts uh-uh.
Retirement? Well, doing it MY way it is pretty close to TEN parts fun and very little uh-uh.
The trick is to do what YOU want when YOU want to. So while I love shooting and love teaching (the part with the kids, not the drag me into the dungeon and kill me with meetings and paperwork part) I also like to volunteer, work in the back forty, diddle with woodworking, kick back with a glass of wine and read a book or online article, travel, and much more. So I do it all and on my terms now.
These past few weeks have seen me playing a ghoul in a haunted house, out on a shoot for Angies List, visiting daughters on the fly, putting in the winter garden, volunteering to do publicity for the local American Legion for an event (and shooting and posting video of said event to local news sites), returning to the classroom for a short teaching gig, speaking to some college broadcasting classes with friend and co-author Larry Nance, and running two cameras for a producer at a forum at the University of the Pacific. And kicking back with wine and a good book and even just sitting and watching leaves fall.
In a few months the hubby of forty plus years retires and I can add travelling the country with my true love in a trailer to the list (with an occasional jaunt across various big ponds to foreign realms). And, according to him, handing him tools as he works under his 1941 Chevy Coupe. Yeah. Retirement done right.