Yesterday, my daughter asked me if I realized when I started teaching in 1971 that my year of retirement would be somewhere in the 2000s. It took me a few seconds to even wrap my brain around the question!
When I started teaching, I never thought about retirement at all! In fact, I didn't think too much about retirement until a few years ago. My husband and I were busy raising our daughters, and we didn't seem to have time for a breath, let alone time for thoughts of retirement planning. Some of my teaching friends started to retire, and it hit me that I would someday be there!!!
I remember when my dad retired as an accountant for Cincinnati Metro. Dean and I planned a huge surprise party for him. My mom was in on the surprise, but what she didn't know was that my brother was flying in from Kansas City for the big event. I'll always remember my dad's face when he came to our house that Sunday, and we told him guests would soon arrive to celebrate his retirement! Even more memorable was the look on both of my parents' faces when I said, "And one of the guests has already arrived". My brother walked in from the kitchen! My mom gave him a big hug and kiss! I'm pretty sure my dad's jaw dropped! Many of my parents' friends joined us that afternoon, and we had asked each one to write a note to my dad. The notes ranged from profound to funny to silly.
I still have those notes in a scrapbook we made for my dad. I think it it time that I read them. Of course, my dad isn't with me for my retirement, but I bet the sentiments his friends shared will have just as much meaning for me today. And I humbly say that my dad would be proud that I have taught for 37 years and have earned my retirement.
So back to my daughter's question. Key futuristic dates I recall as being significant were 1984 (because of the novel) and the year 2000. (Has it been almost 12 years since we all worried about Y2K?)
I realize that if I had thought of the end of my career when I started my career, I wouldn't have had much of a career. Teaching has been a journey, as trite as that may sound. Anyway, what fun is it to read the last chapter of a book before starting it?