Seven Months In — April 10, 2016

Seven Months In

I ask myself daily “why did I wait so long to retire?”

I have had a great first seven months of this retirement journey.  My first 4 months were spent resting.  I knew that my job as a public school superintendent was stressful but I didn’t realize how much stress I had built up.  I would find myself sleeping the day away or just sitting outside in my reclining lawn chair for hours.  I am happy to report that I am now well rested and de-stressed.  I find myself, today, more productive (if I want to be).

I have developed a passion for writing in my journal and doodling artistically.  I find a quiet and pleasing place to just observe life’s happenings and I let my mind drift to whatever captures my thoughts or interests.  Recently, while enjoying some time and a cup of coffee at Starbucks in the West Village in Dallas, I began thinking about all the clothing that I have accumulated over the years.  I thought about how unnecessary my closet full of clothing had become.  I live a very simple life today.  If I never wear another tie it will be too soon.  I have put together a list of what I plan to pare my wardrobe down to in the near future.

Retirement Clothing Necessities:

  • Robe & Houseshoes
  • Sleep shirt & shorts- 2 of each
  • Warmup pants- 2 pair
  • Shirts- 3-4 polo type
  • Underwear- 7-8 pair
  • Slacks- 1 pair Black pants (church, funeral, or retirement party)
  • Sports Coat- 1 (church, funeral, or retirement party)
  • Socks- 2 black dress socks and 5 athletic socks
  • Shoes- Tennis shoes, Crocs, and Dress shoes (black)
  • Cargo Shorts- 2 pair
  • Fleece jacket
  • Toboggan
  • Belts- 1 black dress belt and 1 casual belt

That is really all that I need.  It is amazing how little we actually need in retirement.  My first year or two in college at Texas A&M University I would bring my clothes back and forth from home in a cardboard Pepsi box.  I think that I could get everything on this list into that Pepsi box.

I am going to begin the process of culling the unneccessary “stuff” from my life.  I plan to pursue a minimalist lifestyle.  Much simpler to manage!

Thanks for reading!

“Blessed assurance Jesus is mine.  Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!”

Inaugural Musings — July 8, 2015

Inaugural Musings

As I near my retirement date of August 31st I begin to have some serious thought about where do I go from here.  My wife tells me that the first day that I started working I was planning my retirement.  I don’t know if that is completely accurate but…. there is some validity to what she is saying.  I have always enjoyed doing what I wanted to do.  If I wanted to do it.  I have always liked to set my own schedule and do my own thing.  So I have always thought that I needed to either be rich enough to not have to work or just be retired in order to be able to enjoy life.  I know that retirement will not be simply “doing what I want to do all of the time” but, I plan to have plenty of time to do the things that I have always wanted to do but work got in the way.

With saved vacation days and accrued local days my last day at work will be July 30th.  I have worked at FISD for the past 31 years.  I began my career in 1984 as an Ag. teacher.  I taught for 8 years and enjoyed many aspects of teaching Ag.  In retrospect I would say that I was not a very good teacher.  I wanted students to come to class eager and ready to learn.  I knew my subject matter and I wanted to share that information with my students.  I really didn’t enjoy the discipline side of teaching.  I was probably a poor classroom manager.  After teaching I went to East Texas State University and completed a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance.  I became a JH counselor.  I enjoyed school counseling.  I enjoyed developing the master schedule, scheduling students and also helping students navigate the trials and tribulations of being in JH.  I never fancied myself as a psychiatrist.  I felt like my job was to listen to their issue, offer constructive solutions, get them back in class, and followup to check on their progress.  I went back to grad school and got my Mid-Management certification and became an Asst. Prin. at the JH.  I was blessed to only spend one year as an assistant.  Discipline issues, lunch duty, bus duty, game supervision duty (duty, duty, duty) and dealing with mad parents…tough job!  I became principal after one year and really enjoyed that job.  I was able to interact with students on a more positive note and I was able to implement programs to improve my campus.  After 3 years and a 32 hour superintendent certification, I became the Asst. Supt. where I served for 5 years.  Great position in a small school district.  You are responsible for everything- hiring, training, parent issues, policy development, safety, etc…. For the last 11 years I have been the superintendent of a small (2450 student) school district outside of Dallas, Texas.  I really believe that i have been able to make a difference in the lives of students in this position.  As superintendent you deal with every aspect of the school district.  You also have a school board made up of 7 locally elected citizens that set policy for the district and complete your annual evaluation.  I have been blessed to have, for the most part, really great board members.  As I write this post I have one more school board meeting!  That is hard to believe!

Now that you know a little bit about my work career I hope that you will subscribe to my blog and follow my journey into this next phase of life.  I will be working on my bucket list which I will share in my next post.  I hope that you have a great day and remember…Life is about Choices.  I hope that you will choose to be positive and seize the opportunities that present themselves to you!

Hello world! —