Last year I made the decision to retire early from my teaching job, high school level special education working with children with disabilities both learning and behavioral.
I moved to a small town in Northern Kentucky along the Ohio River and have been trying to reinvent my life.
At 57 years old I hopefully have plenty of time to do this. The increasing stress of teaching was causing health problems that were definitely stress related so I made a radical change.
I left the suburbs of Columbus Ohio for the quiet hills of the Ohio River Valley. I bought an old house with a river view and spent an entire summer making it livable. The first thing I bought was an old wicker rocker and put it in one of the rooms over looking the river valley. I needed to learn how to relax and let go of all of the stress.
Each morning I go to my little kitchen to make tea. The ceiling and walls are pressed tin and I tried to preserve the feeling of the late 1800’s. I don’t have big appliances, just a dorm style refrigerator and a hot plate and grill for cooking. No cupboards on the pressed tin walls, just old standing floor cupboards.
So, there I stand in my kitchen full of sunshine, watching the barge traffic on the Ohio River while I make my morning tea. I spend time walking my dog through our lovely little town every day. Up and down the steep hills, watching the birds singing in the trees.
The architecture here is wonderful and I do a lot of photography of the homes and buildings from as early as the late 1700’s. For a small town it is surprising how much there is to do. I did a lot of research on all the towns along the Ohio River until I found one that had lots to do yet would have a slower pace and more satisfying atmosphere.
Since I’ve been here I’ve seen a world-class concert pianist, quite a few free street concerts, a symphony orchestra, several musicals presented by both the local schools and the adult professional troupe based here.
There are two museums and several art galleries. Just the picturesqueness of the town can be enough to fill an afternoon of walking. I’m still trying to set up a studio in my house where I can paint and do my other art projects.
I also plan to work temporary jobs, I had a career and that was enough of that for me! I prepared taxes this year and will be a Census worker again and will then look for simple part time jobs until next tax season roles around.
I am looking for new experiences and meeting people here and am satisfied working for minimum wage. I live simply now and vastly enjoy the challenge of living creatively and wisely.
I have taken an enormous step backwards financially but find my life to be much more satisfying and yes, I am still trying to learn how to relax as I watch the old muddy river move on.
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