The Real Start of Retirement

This is Labour Day weekend, the weekend that for BD and me has been the real “New Year” start for all our lives. Here in Ontario, school starts the Tuesday after Labour Day, so for all our years of school – elementary, secondary, university and post-graduate – this was the start of something new – new teachers, new schools, new courses, new friends. New cities, once we were in university. Even when we were working at the university after grad school, this was still the start of the new school year, with new grad students, and sometimes professors, arriving, and new undergrads needing direction and help around the campus. The campus changed from quiet to busy; new lecture series, concerts and plays started up; excitement was in the air.

Then we left research for teaching and so September continued to be the start of the year. I was off last fall recuperating from surgery, but even so I was connected with work, answering e-mails, helping out the person who had stepped into my role. So this is the first September since we were six years old that school or work, in one form or another, isn’t starting for us. I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet.

This weekend is also our anniversary: BD and I have been married for thirty-four years today. But it’s more than our wedding anniversary: we moved in together thirty-six years ago this weekend, and we met this weekend thirty-seven years ago.

So, as you can see, this is a weekend of significance for us. There have been a lot of new starts this first weekend of September, and this year is another one, the true start of our retirement life. Because up to now, it’s just been a summer like the last twenty-five of teaching. Only on Tuesday, when work and school starts without us, will we begin to fully realize we’re retired. I think we’ll go to a movie matinee, just because we can.

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