Josna Rege

507. Marking Time

In Aging, Nature, reflections, Stories, Teaching on January 23, 2022 at 11:39 pm

As this Spring semester of 2022 gets underway, every day is necessarily going to bring a succession of ‘lasts’, each one unnecessarily freighted with significance. For I have made the decision to retire. Never having believed in counting down the days before, I hardly know whether I dread getting to the last ‘last’ or whether I can’t wait. My last first day of classes is already history, and already I’ve found myself thinking about the very last meeting of my very last class. Will I tell the students and bring in Indian sweets to share? Or just slip quietly out and away? Can’t allow myself to think about it now.

But when all the ‘lasts’ are behind me, when the inevitable tears of sadness and relief have flowed, I hope there will be a period of blessèd emptiness—before this overactive mind of mine starts in on the ‘nexts.’  

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

  1. Congrats on soon moving on to the next stage! I’m sure you will handle it well and not over fill.

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  2. However the emotions take you when it comes to it, I hope it is marked with joy, with pride, and with satisfaction.

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    • Thank you, Chris. I’ll try to remember this, since at low moments other, more negative, emotions tend to take over–which may well be worth attending to, but not as the only version. of the story. All my best, J

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  3. Congratulations on making this big decision. So many of my friends are retiring now! I guess it’s our time 🙂 I can see how it’s bittersweet in some ways, but I think of all the other things that you will be able to do (especially if we get this pandemic under control). I can’t wait until I’m able to retire.

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    • Thank you, Maureen, and you’re quite right. It will free me up in all sorts of ways that I can’t even anticipate now. It’s harder for us in academia, I think, because there’s no set retirement age. I see colleagues working on into their 70s, and having gotten into this racket relatively late, I haven’t put in nearly as many years or service as many others. But yes, it’s our time, and knowing that I have age mates going through this stage–or in your case, nearing it–helps a lot. I’ll report back. . .x J

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  4. dearest josna,

    i can understand your transition restlessness so well! hang in there: new paths will open. bine

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    • Thank you, bine. Your reassurances calm me, especially since you have ascended to that distinguished status just ahead of me. I have no doubt that new paths will open, though my worries include over-filling my time with busyness too soon as well as the opposite. Restlessness is right! I need to remember that one is always in transition. J

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  5. Hari Om
    It is one of life’s major shifts – but has its own rewards. You’ll know how to sail that ‘last last’ when it comes around. Meanwhile, enjoy every minute of the in between lasts… YAM xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, YAM! You remind me to treat it as a right of passage rather than an ending–and yes, to fully enjoy this time as it unfolds. For all my projections are just figments of my imagination. x J

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