In talking today to a dear, former colleague and now friend, it occurred to me that so many of us have identities that are totally intertwined with some part of our life.

For many people that I know, after having taught at a school of over four thousand students, the work identity seems to overshadow and overtake their lives. The ramifications are that after retirement, there is a need to continue to connect with the work environment and find out and know what is going on. My friend reminded me of a call she used to get from a former departmental colleague, dying to know the latest scoop. He would call every Sunday evening.

I always thought that my work persona was super important, and it was while I was on the job. Now, however, that I have left that behind and morphed into a different working individual, I find that although I was totally involved in the situation, that now that I have departed it, I almost need a break from it. I realize as well that it was not my most defining moment of life. It made me realize that my true definition was of someone else, mainly a family person, but having outside interests as well.

MK and I, in our pretirement phases, because neither she nor I have retired completely, have endeavored upon making new friendships and acquaintances, and to not letting the grass grow under our feet.

I am not being judgmental here.

Each and every person has to find his or her own way through this voyage called life. I am just saying what I, in particular, need.

My father-in-law, who taught at the same high school as I did, was constantly searching for that information. It used to make me laugh when he would ask about someone or something. When I might chance upon a name that he didn’t recognize, since that person might have not been known to him or perhaps had started working there after his retirement, he would always say, “That person must be new.”

We aren’t all the same and we all have different needs.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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