Retirement? Yikes! I’m far, far from that age. Except, well, I’m not. This is my husband’s 30th year teaching special education. At 30 years, he can retire with the full package. (I should know very clearly what that it, but I do not. Mostly because I didn’t ever plan on being retirement age. Well, I planned on being that age, just not that retirement thing. Well, that’s not true either, but I just don’t know such things.) And all that means that people frequently ask when Dan is going to retire. And then, inevitably because we are the same age, they ask when I plan to retire. And I always say in a pained voice, “I don’t know.”
But lately I’ve actually been thinking about it more. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s a combination of things. Dan loves to watch homesteading videos and I have been watching a few lately myself. I just finished reading a book about a modern sustainable farming family. And we had a couple of snow days that extended our Christmas break, creating time for me to do things at home.
And you know what? I love doing things around my home. I find it extremely fulfilling. Dan and I bought this property almost 20 years ago with the idea of being more self-sufficient. But then life took us (me especially) in other directions. I taught school as a substitute teacher more. Then I was offered a job as a special education teacher, which ended up with me getting a Master’s degree and student loans. It all meant that I really just did not have time to be self-sufficient.
But it was always there. Sleeping a lot, waking drowsily from time to time. And somehow lately, it has woken up. I love teaching. I really, really do. But I derive such joy when at least part of the food I put on the table was grown here. I want to do that more. And it’s just so hard when I’m at school all day.
So, I’m starting to actually think about when I will retire. I still don’t have an answer, but I no longer think I will just go on teaching forever. In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out ways to supplement my retirement to pay off those pesky loans. Maybe I will grow salad greens. It was an idea I once pursued, but life….. I could get back to that. Or maybe I will bake cookies. Or knit hats. Or bake bread. Or sell roses. Or some combination. Right now I don’t know. But it’s sure fun thinking about it.