retirement


How Yoga Teachers Hang Out

Image by sarahfelicity via Flickr

I resigned from my teaching position of twenty years in the spring of 2007. At the time, I had vague notions of rolling over my teaching certificate and working as a classroom teacher in Alberta. I still think about the license – need to get on that really – but the idea of teaching high school again doesn’t warm my insides.

So I semi-officially retired from teaching. I still read about the horror known as “reform” down in the states and I write about it (none too flatteringly which would make it hard to secure a teaching position down there again, methinks), but I don’t harbor any notions of returning.

When I left the building, I didn’t look back.

Okay, I still love office supplies, but that aside, I don’t miss the job of it. And it was a job. A thankless and mostly mind-numbing job as the years ground on.

I blogged. I wife’d the house, mothered the child and poured myself into myself and my husband. And life was very good.

But somewhere along the line, yoga arrived and then the urge to teach it followed, and now I am not exactly retired anymore. In fact, I am working – more and more.

What started with filling in at the studio here and there became an employment opportunity when I was offered one then two and now three classes of my own. Quickly on the heels of this came an offer to teach two nights a week at the community hall across the street. Add to this the fact that I’d already agreed to take every third Friday teaching a class for figure skaters in the next town over.

Between this and the Care2 gig – I am working again.

Not that I could pay the mortgage – which isn’t an issue because we don’t have one anyway – but it’s an exchange of skills for money. I haven’t done this in a while and it’s … interesting.

I had to shop. My yoga attire is not exactly Lululemon. I gave her up a while ago because the pants are too low-cut and the fabric doesn’t breathe enough for my comfort level. I am a capri’s and leggings type with long t’s and sweaters. Layers is the middle-aged woman’s best friend.

I have a lesson book. I write out sequence plans. It’s like the old days only everyone who shows up wants to be there and pays attention.

Not that many are showing up. It’s not my studio. People who come expect Jade. And why not? She’s good. So my classes have a couple of folks here and there. It’s a bit disappointing in the first few minutes but once I start to teach, I lose myself in the instruction and forget about the numbers.

The community hall class will be bigger. Nine registered officially and a few more who’ve verbally committed. Perhaps I can lure a few into the studio? It’s a goal; I won’t deny it.

Someday I will have a studio. Somewhere. I don’t think it will be soon or here, but the future – as Yoda pointed out to Luke – is a difficult thing to pin down for prediction purposes.

For now, I am a working girl again. That’s all I need to know.


When we were back in Iowa visiting with my family a few weeks back, we spent an afternoon out in the rural area that my dad’s family helped settle well over a hundred years ago. The old homestead is the house I remember from my childhood and visiting my Grandma and Uncle Jimmy, who was farming it at the time. It was a house that my great-grandfather built and all but his oldest son was born there. In fact the trees that run along the driveway were planted the day my grandmother was born back in March of 1894. The house is still livable but no one has lived there for several years and it shows. One of the McCarthy boys, Phil, owns it now. He is my third cousin on my grandmother’s side. At least I think that is the degree of our relationship. I have trouble with the whole cousin rating system once I am past second cousins. Phil’s great-grandmother and my great-grandfather were siblings is all I know. And even that might not be entirely accurate. Phil wants to sell the acreage the homestead is on, preferably to family. My sister and her husband looked at the place over the summer but decided against it as the house needs too much work. After we visited the place with my dad and Katy and my nephew, Luke, Rob surprised me by commenting that he could see himself living on a place like that in future and that he found my hometown a fairly nice area to live. Interestingly, I had thought about buying the homestead on different occasions in my live but it was never for sale until recently.

I bring this up only because Rob and I have been talking about where we want to retire. A bit premature you say? Well, not really. We are both of the mindset that “retirement” in its current form is a fantasy for the majority of people our age (40’s). The social structure will be bent to the breaking point by the older boomers and won’t exist in its present form for us. Unless we win the lottery (and apparently you have to play in order to win) or I really do write that Oprah Book Club masterpiece some day soon, we are going to be working in some form or another all of our lives. What we need to do is settle upon careers that we enjoy and that can be done anywhere. And we need an anywhere to do it.

So, now we have one possible anywhere. My family’s homestead. Next week we are heading to B.C. (British Columbia) to visit Rob’s mom in her new digs. It’s in the mountain valley area and it’s apparently very beautiful there. That might end up being another “where” possibility.

Rob mentioned the Iowa retirement option to both his daughters in an email he sent to them recently updating them on things going on around here, not the least of which is a possible job offer that could take us back to the states very soon. Jordan, the younger, thought that Iowa was about me and my wanting to be close to my family. Rob asked me about that too when we were discussing it. Probably because when we first met, I was under some pressure from my mother and sister to move back to my hometown and I was resisting it. My reasons then where that though it would be good for Katy in some ways to be nearer my family; it would not have been good for me. Not then with my life being what it was. I told Rob that now was different simply because I am different. My circumstances are different. Things do change. Iowa would still be good for Katy because she would grow up around extended family and as an only child with older parents, it would be good for her to have connections beyond us. It would be okay for me too now because I wouldn’t be in danger of being sucked into some of my family’s dysfunctional ways the way I would have been had it been just Katy and I.

However, for the immediate future there is what a move to Houston and then quite probably Saudi Arabia would mean for all us. Iowa or B.C. is food for thought and a later date to ponder and act upon.