Teacher Retirement Regrets

by Michele

I retired a year and a half ago as a teacher for children with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities. I found a part time job as an assistant in a preschool 5 minutes from my home.

I keep thinking about my old job so much. I keep saying I should have never retired.

I had 7 hernia operations within a year and a half. the hernias keep recurring. That was why I retired.

I have racing thoughts all night and day about my old job. My old job was very demanding and very stressful. My new job is very pleasant. I can't stop thinking about my old job. I can't get it out of my head and I need to move on and stop looking back but I cant. It is making me sick. Can anyone help me with this?

Comments for Teacher Retirement Regrets

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This is Grieving
by: Deborah, Bath OH

The exact same thing happened to me after teaching 35 and 1/2 years. I now realize that it's taking me two years of grieving process in order to appreciate retirement.

Give yourself time ... volunteer maybe to a national park or to some Community affiliation, take on exercise program such as swimming and just find something to do in which you can help others and you will heal quicker.

May I suggest the book
When Everything Changes, Change Everything: In a Time of Turmoil, A Pathway to Peace

by: loyce!

Your big/hearted nature yearns to help others and there are many in need.

Keep looking forward
by: Laura in Vermont

Sounds to me like you are looking back at your very challenging career and feeling a little guilty about leaving it. After all, those kids you worked with are a handful and a half. You must have been very proud to make a difference in their lives, despite all the stress.
Now it's someone else's turn to make that difference. Although some teachers are special, none are in fact irreplaceable. It's OK to be replaced now. All soldiers come home from the war one way or another, why not teachers?
Be the special person at your current job and enjoy the time you spend with the little ones! You are still the professional person you always were. Only now you have possibly a less challenging brood to watch. Who knows? Perhaps you will find a child nobody else understands in the new group, and make a big difference in that child's life.

by: Tippy/Canada

Hi, it is very hard to leave the familiar. But if you have found a position in which you can still contribute then that is wonderful! Maybe you need to do more hours of volunteer work in this transition phase....

Advice from the road traveled
by: Sandy

Michele - This is my opinion only, but you are certainly in transition. If you look through this site, you will find many of us retirees who felt exactly as you do. And then there are some who never looked back and enjoy every moment.

Given that I was similar to you, I found relief in seeing a therapist and even took some anti-depression medicine for awhile (I am not recommending this, but just sharing as an option). Once I felt better, I reduced my dosage and still am OK.

I also filled my life with volunteer work and a part-time job and celebrated the fact that I am alive and can choose my attitude every day. I also joined a yoga and meditation group and researched depression, retirement, etc. as much as I could, so I could learn why I felt this way. I also made sure that I kept a calendar showing what I had to do each week which game me a sense of purpose. I also care for my very elderly parents which helps me with purpose.

Also, start a bucket list of small things you want to do - not necessarily trips to Alaska, and start doing them. Join a meetup for activities.

Having said all that (about me), please read through what you find on this site. It appears that eventually you WILL come out on the other side as a stronger, happier person, but getting there is HELL!!

I wish you the very best and hope that the transition period is as short as possible.

Time to Let Go
by: Linda/Nevada

It has taken me three years to not feel angry about how my last job ended. I was laid off because my company was bought out by a large publicly traded company. They lost a wrongful death lawsuit to the tune of $16 million dollars. What really made me angry was my last evaluation. All the good things I did for the company were forgotten about but when I stopped working on Saturdays, which was voluntary, I became a bad employee.

I was advised by several people to shred the evaluation and not look back. It took me a few months but I finally destroyed it. That was the beginning of my healing process.

Maybe you need to find some sort of ritual to do that will bring your anxiety about your old job to an end.

It's an old saying, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. We just need to trust that reason.

Self control
by: Anonymous

Your job required great self control to act and speak properly for difficult children.

Now use that self control over your thoughts: thoughts make emotiosns. Every time a thought of regret comees into your head replace it forcefully with a thought of the delight of helping these lovely easy to work with little ones.

Keep doing that and eventually pleasing delighted thoughts will come naturally.

Best wishes, you have a fine situation nowl!

by: Guinn from Oklahoma

Hi Michele...I can relate to what you are saying. After teaching for 30 years I felt the heart of my life was pretty much over after retiring. Teaching defined me; I was a teacher and then it all had to end. But the truth is, once a teacher always a teacher.

I am not working now as you are, and I applaud you for that. You know, those little kids you taught will always be in your heart, and you in theirs. And I really think we can look back and think on those things. God has and will continue to reward you. You will never know what all you have accomplished in their lives. Just as you have been rewarded and enriched for your service, so have they. And I hope you can grasp the goodbye to your old job and the hello to your current job.

Would love to hear back from you. Hang in there...much respect to you....Guinn

response to MG
by: Linda Lively

Hi MG...read your comments and I think you made a world of difference for those kids. You put so much of yourself into the job. I believe there is a time and place for everything. That was then, now it's time perhaps for you. A mental, emotional and physical resting time.

Enjoy the outdoors and music. I especially like classical music. You accomplished a wonderful thing helping those kids, be happy with that knowledge and now let someone else pick up and continue where you left off.

Have a happy, restful, content life!

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