Friday, January 18, 2019

Retirement: Are there other options?

As most of my friends already know, I retired from work last May.  It has been 8 months since I was last inside a classroom, teaching.  I: was excited then because the troubles I had working like commuting to and from school, lazy students, recording grades, planning for the week, etc... are over.  The first thing I wanted to do was to go far away from it all and I could only do that by traveling and travel I did.  I went to far away Brazil to join my daughter, Kim, and her husband, Renan. It is by far the farthest country I have ever been and I stayed there for almost two months.  A couple of months after my return to the country, I was on a plane again, this time to the US.  My first stop was Los Angeles. After ten days, I traveled to Oregon to attend a wedding, the event  that gave me the  idea to travel to the US again.  After the wedding, I went to the East Coast, my first time there.  While at the East Coast, I traveled to several States like New York, Maryland and Virginia.  I was supposed to visit a friend in  South Carolina but my body was a little tired from all that traveling.

Now that I am back in the country, I have not really been idle.  I have produced two oil paintings and several watercolors.  True to my original intention, I have been painting and sometimes did some writing.  So the options are still there. Unfortunately,, to my regret, while I have been painting and writing, I have not been doing these religiously as I should have been. Part of my routine is to go to the gym, exercise and try to stay fit.  However, this makes me very tired to go to the apartment/stiidio and paint. I only manage to paint at least two hours everyday as a consequence of having to go to the gym first.   This prompted me to reverse my schedule and work first in the morning then go to the gym around 5.  This scheme did not, however, improved my painting time.  I manage to wale up at around 5 am, walk my dog, Dookie, and sit if front of the tv.   Sitting in front of  the television is not a good idea.  I lose track of the time and before I know it, it is already 10 am.  This gives me only about an hour to paint as I have to go home and eat lunch.  Thereafter, I take a rest and sit in front to the television and lose track of time once more.  I manage to leave at around 3 pm and stop at around 5 pm as I have to take a bath and go to the gym.  This had been my habit and I am not happy.   I remember my friend, painter/sculptor, Omi Reyes, saying that he works eight hours a day, just like as if he was working for a company.

While musing in front of the tv, I begin to realize I miss having a regular job.  I miss having to wake up early in the morning, dress up and drive to school. Ironically, I miss the steady doldrums. of being an employee, the predictable day to day routine. I  miss being with young students, vibrant, innocent and mischievous.  I miss my friends terribly, our useless banters, exchanges of opinions and nonsensical idle talk. Most of all, I miss earning money for myself.  I miss receiving wages that make me afford to buy whatever I like.

It is for these reasons that I would like to once again enjoy being in the classroom even for only a short time.  How I wish I could do these things once more.  But then I know if God does not want me to that anymore, it will not happen.  Maybe there is a greater thing waiting for me.  Maybe the Art world is waiting for me.  That would not be a bad turn out for after all, it was originally what I wanted from the very start.