The Brightness of the Light

The new school year started today for my wife and my two daughters. For me, today is the day my retirement officially started. A new start for them, a new world for me.

For the past few years, my school day would begin by taking my daughters to school and waiting there until the bell rang and they were safely inside. Then, as the other Moms and Dads would make their coffee clutch plans, I would head to my car and drive to school to prepare for my own day.  How I begrudged those other parents their freedom.  It was never the fact that I didn’t want to be with my own students or that I preferred coffee that much. It was the fact that I didn’t have the freedom to control my fate. I had to go to work. No choice. I had to go.

No longer.

Today, I saw my youngest safely inside her school and I……….and I……….well, I went for coffee!!!!!   I did.  I got into my car and drove downtown and met two friends, also retired teachers, and we had coffee together on a sidewalk patio. The sun shone down upon our skin. We waved to friendly passersby. We chatted about weighty matters and feather-light ones, too.  But, best of all, there was a school bell there that I was asked to ring. Not a tentative, self-conscience tinkle of a ring but, instead, a full-throttled, lusty declarative ring of freedom for all to hear. So, I rang that bell, loud and long and clear. Every time someone looked our way in puzzlement, my friends would point to me and announce, “It’s his first Tuesday!”, as if that explained everything.

But, it is my first Tuesday in this new life of mine. School traditionally starts on the first Tuesday after Labour Day in Canada. For the first time in 49 years, I was not in school on the first Tuesday. On this day, I was free.  Freedom is intoxicating and I admit to feeling slightly off balance by it all but, in a good way.  The best way I can describe it all is to point to those near-death experiences you read about. You know, the ones with the bright light that you are drawn toward and the loved ones awaiting you on the other side. Today, I got to experience the bright light that is the freedom to chart my own course. I am thankful to my two friends, Pat and Tracy, for being there to help me transition to the other side, as it were.

This is my first post on my new blog. Thank you for reading. I hope to see many of you following along as I embark on my journey with words.  Thanks for being part of my first Tuesday.  It is awesome to be here……on the other side!!!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

20 thoughts on “The Brightness of the Light

  1. Whatcha cookin for dinner, Tom? Kidding! I loved this post so much. I read it out loud to Mike, giggling and with a tear or two in my eye. Welcome to the other side. 😊

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    1. “Welcome to the other side”……absolutely! This has been, unexpectedly so, such a joyous kinda day! I am now part of this secret club that exists right under the noses of children and working folk yet, remains seemingly unnoticed. I feel as though once I was a muggle but, after today, I am at Hogwarts and everything is different now. I hope this feeling lasts because it is pretty cool! 😀📚☕️

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  2. Enjoyed the banter……………….. I know the feeling of “the FIRST TUESDAY”!! After 13 years, I still feel the pull of the First Day Back to School. I think that I have instilled this thrill into my 3 grand children. Waiting for the next addition.

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  3. So happy for you Tom. I was wondering how you would mark this momentous occasion. Enjoy your new found freedom. Keri & the girls will appreciate it as well.
    Carol

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    1. Well, who knew there were these traditions and rituals?! Not me. But, everyone else sure seemed to know the bell and could state, without missing a beat, how many “first Tuesdays” this was for them. What a great team to be on now! Loving it!

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    1. Awesome to hear from you, Conlee! Hope all is well in your part of the world. Thank you for your kind words. I have always appreciated your presence in my Writing world. Your continued support and positivity is much appreciated. ❤️👏

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  4. So beautifully written Tom. I will definitely be following you on this journey! I too enjoyed coffee with some retired teachers. All of us smiling, all of us happy and free!!

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  5. Woohoo….FREEDOM!! Enjoy my friend, enjoy!! It may seem strange at first (or maybe not). I know for sure it will feel like a WELCOME change. I know when my hubby retired…and “moved to the other side”…it took some getting used to. However, for me….I LOVED it from day one!!

    The school system will be missing a great educator, (we know this from experience), but your NEW CHAPTER in life will be more rewarding than ever. You will get the chance to do things you did not have time to do before. I know for a fact you will not be bored.

    ENJOY your new life journey, you have worked hard to earn this new found FREEDOM!!

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    1. Thank you, Gloria! It means a lot, coming from you. And, you are right in assuming that I won’t be bored. My to-do list seems to be growing, people are reaching out to get me volunteering for them and then, there is taking care of more of the house so Keri can relax more. I will write, too. Not sure how I managed to bet th8ngs done when I had a real job! 😀👍👏🍷☕️

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  6. Love your blog Tom. I felt a little off balance today. It’s very different. I do admit I was home with my son when he was little but now I have no responsibilities. It felt strange but liberating. Have a great September!

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    1. It was kinda funny, actually. Everywhere I went this morning, people were shaking my hand and congratulating me like I was a lottery winner or a hero or something. And they were all so, so happy and so welcoming of me into their world. It was really something. Enjoy your freedom. 😀👍📚

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  7. Happy retirement, Tom! I hope you enjoy many well-earned coffee breaks in the days to come, and I look forward to following your blog.

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    1. Thank you, Marta. I know that you come from a literate family so, I hope to not disappoint you with any of my future offerings. I would like to think that there may be a book or two in my future but, for now, I need to get my writing chops back into game shape after a hiatus of a few years. I feel fortunate to now have this opportunity to focus more on my craft and, God willing, hone my skill and improve. Thanks for coming along for the ride. 😀📚🍷

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  8. I’m far too late to comment, but I shall anyway. Tom, oh how I have missed your writing. Your point of view and gentle storytelling are an absolute joy to read. You’ve brought us along with you on the beginning of this journey, and I can’t wait to see where you venture. Truly wonderful to see your words on the page and to look forward to your skilled wordsmithing. By the way, a shout out too for the design of your blog – clean, crisp and welcoming.

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    1. Thank you, as always, for your steadfast support. Having someone as skilled as you in my corner means a lot. I was able to publish two posts last week and have two ready to go in my mind for the upcoming week. Hopefully, I will be able to develop a steady work pace and build up my writing muscles. I remember reading a book on writing by Stephen King where he said that if you wanted to be a writer then, you had to treat it like a job and “go to work” everyday and write and write and write. I now have the freedom of spending my time more how I decide and so far anyway, I have made time to “go to work” and start writing again. It feels good. I have missed doing my work. 😀

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