Friday, February 25, 2011
Habits of a lifetime
I did go through my computer the other day, with wild abandon, and delete about 40,000 files for American History, thinking, "I'll never have to teach that class again!!!" But as soon as I hit the last delete button, I broke out into a momentary sweat...thinking: what am I doing?
I don't have any trouble thinking "This is the last time I have to do this type of duty..." (Trust me on that one...) Or "This will be the last time I have to give this midterm exam and grade it.." But other habits seem to die hard.
I don't know if I will ever be able to eat lunch s...l...o....w....l...y. Thirty years of 30 minute lunches (on days when you don't have to do duty, that is) sort of creates an in-grained habit.
And I don't know if I'll ever be able to pass cars on a parking lot without automatically scanning for prohibited behavior such as smoking, talking on cell phones and other things. (I'm really, really good at this!!! Just ask one of the construction workers at our school ...)
I don't know if I'll be able to retrain my mind to think in increments of time that aren't 90 minutes long or if I'll be able to refrain from saying, "Get out your notebooks!" every time I hear a bell ring.
And I don't know if I'll be able to adjust to the fact that I can go to the restroom whenever I want on a weekday.
Or, for that matter, that I can blow my nose without having 27 pairs of eyes watching... (Will withdrawal symptoms force me to head to the nearest crowded mall with a tissue box in my hand... just so that things will feel more "normal" when I have sinus trouble?)
And I don't know if I can break myself of saying things like "Dude!" and "Busted!!!" when walking with the geriatric set at the community center for exercise...
There are a lot of unknowns as I head into this new phase of life, some a lot less lighthearted than the ones listed above. I'll miss my co-workers and the inside jokes that abound within the system. I'll miss seeing the world through the eyes of teen-agers. And I suspect I'll miss the sense of purpose that comes from having a job to do, routine things to accomplish.
On the other hand, I'm so looking forward to retirement and am even confident that by the end of the year... all the file folders (both cyber and manila) will be totally gone, my closet will be cleaned out, and I'll already be making adjustments to my new life.
The writer of Ecclesiastes said that there is a time for everything. Bill Bright said that God has a plan for our lives. I believe both are true and that minimizes a lot of the "what if's" as I move forward.