Monday, September 3, 2012

The academic calendar still shapes the way I see the world.

I’m still kind of surprised by how easily I’ve adjusted to retirement--how it so quickly became the new normal.

Yet there are some old habits that linger. The academic calendar still shapes the way I see the world. I haven’t shaken the idea that the year begins in September and I have to get my house in order before the new year begins in the fall. One ritual was cleaning out my kitchen cabinets which I did religiously every summer (Yes, it’s true I only clean my cabinets once a year.)

Last week, I had a moment of panic. It was the end of August and I hadn’t cleaned the kitchen cabinets! But then reality set in—it doesn’t matter if this job stretches into October.

Just as it doesn’t matter that I haven’t gotten through that stack of books I wanted to read this summer. There will be time for that later in the year. No stacks of student papers will get in the way.

Labor Day used to be a serious work day for me as I desperately tried to finish all my course outlines. There was always one syllabus I hadn’t nailed down before Labor Day weekend. No more.

There is one Labor Day ritual I really miss—the Waterloo Gardens Labor Day sale, the mother of all plant sales. Sadly Waterloo Gardens went bankrupt and closed this summer. I learned the hard way never to plant in the late spring or summer. If hadn’t got a shrub in the ground by mid-spring, it would have to wait until the fall. When we were working the only time we could travel was summer vacation or winter holidays and it was just too risky to plant during the summer when we weren’t around to water plants for 3-4 weeks.

I really looked forward to going to Waterloo Gardens to buy their always healthy and (during Labor Day weekend) deeply discounted plants. Fortunately, we have a lot of good garden centers in the Delaware Valley, but nothing quite like Waterloo Gardens. I miss that wonderful Labor Day sale, but I sure do not miss going back to work!!!!

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