Beginnings and Endings


Beginnings and Endings

             My life has always had specific beginnings and endings. As an educator (student, teacher, school librarian, principal, and college teacher) there was the new school yearThere was the anticipation and anxiety of the first day of school:  the new students, the new programs and books, the new teachers. When I was in elementary school, my mother always bought me a new dress for the first day. As an adult, I continued the tradition. I made goals and objectives for the new year. There was closure at the end of the year. As a teacher it was bittersweet. There was sadness as my students moved on to another level but pride in what has been accomplished. I had grades, test scores and anecdotal evidence to see how I’d reached or fallen short of my goals and objectives. As a librarian I had statistics on programs and circulation to document accomplishments. I inventoried every book and put it in its place before I locked up for the summer. As a principal the end of the year reports, test results, and my evaluation conference with the superintendent told me where I had succeeded and what needed to be improved for the following year.

            In the summer I had time to reflect on the past year, go over the end of the year documentation, and make new goals and objectives for the following year. I took courses. I had time to play with my own children and vacation with them. It was a cycle I enjoyed.

            Now that I’m semi-retired I still have beginnings and endings. In May I leave the heat of the desert in Scottsdale and open my cabin in Munds Park, Arizona, which is twenty miles south of Flagstaff. It’s a lock-and-leave place so only a little cleaning is necessary. I do have to rake the pine needles and cut the weeds. Then I set up my office and begin writing. Sometimes I revise a novel, sometimes start a new one, and this year I wrote a play. It’s a more solitary existence than the Valley so I do a lot of writing and introspection. I go on long walks with my dog and work out more, especially in Sheri’s exercise class. I acted in a play, something I hadn’t done for forty-five years. There is very little on my calendar. I create my days. I take the time to rejuvenate myself.

            And now it’s November first and time to close up the cabin. Clean it one last time. Hire the fellow to winterize it (turn off the water, drain all the water and blow out the pipes, and put antifreeze down them.) I lock the door and head back to the city. It takes a few weeks for me to acclimate to a busy social life and having a schedule of activities.

            This year I’ll be adjusting to a roommate, my youngest son. He hasn’t lived with me full time for almost four years. And he has new beginnings. He started a job yesterday on a roofing crew and he loves it.

            I love the cycle of definite beginnings and endings. Possibilities and hope are the best part.

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One Response to “Beginnings and Endings”

  1. Sandy Says:

    Possibilities, like air, are present all the time. Like you, however, the beginning of a project or school/calendar year encourages me to set goals.

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