Taking a Real Break

Here I am, 18 months post-retirement. You may be wondering how someone who maintained a blog from 2006-2022 could just disappear, but in fact, that’s exactly what I did. For a bit.

When I retired I craved nothing more than the freedom to do whatever I liked each day, with no schedule, no obligations and no responsibility. For about six weeks, I was in Florida focusing on exercise and diet and reading all of the books I’d put off.

But six weeks is really all I needed and I realized later that I just desperately needed a break.

My colleague Jazz Conboy asked me this question during a conversation about how burnt out I felt, “do you get away from the work?” I smugly answered “Yes! We go to Florida to see our son and his family and they don’t have to worry at all because I always have my phone, I stay in touch with everyone, monitor emails and connect any time they need me. They can reach me 24/7.” Jazz, “Well that’s your problem. You’re not actually ever taking a break. Imagine how you’d feel about the work if you left it for two solid weeks.”

This had never occurred to me. Seriously. It is OKAY to take a real break from the work. You can ask a colleague to check in, an administrative assistant to monitor your emails, and someone else to run point if there’s anything urgent. Then do the same thing for that person.

And by the way, I’m back to working full time. I’m in a role with far less responsibility than I had as a superintendent and there’s a certain freedom to being retired and working in an interim role.

Summer is upon us. Be better than I was. Take a real break. You deserve it. You’ll be better for your teams if you do this for yourself. I promise.

  1. I agree, retirement is a great thing but you still need activities that keep you relevant with the community.
    We have 100 blueberry bushes that need attention. I volunteer at many local organizations spring, summer and fall. Springville/Concord Garden club, Green Springville, Arts cafe rooftop.
    Winter is a slow time for me. Snow blowing out my neighbors is one activity and a couple months in S. Texas visiting my 96 year old mother in law.
    Thanks for coming back on line.

  2. Hello Jay! thanks for the good wishes. I’m working as the acting director of communications and development for Erie 2 BOCES, so working with some wonderful PR and Grants specialists. I’ve also been a leadership coach through NYSCOSS for the past couple of years–very rewarding to support other school and district leaders. I’m determined to return to writing.

  3. Kimberly – Great to see your blog revived. It’s been missed. Hope you’ll continue to post. (What is your new work role, BTW?) Best wishes. …. jay goldman

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