Thursday, January 27, 2011

The "Other Education" for to live!

I think I am a textbook case for the two educations we need.  I am 69 years old.  I received a degree in education when I was 20, finishing the degree in three years.  I taught in the classroom for 3 years while my husband finished his college education and then I "retired" to raise three children and worked part time as a substitute teacher.  At the age of 50 I returned to the classroom full time.  It was required that I be "re-certified" in the state of Oregon so I returned to college to fulfill that requirement.  Then I "retired" again, this time permanently. A quote on twitter by John Adams described my life perfectly.  After retirement I needed to learn how to live a happy complete life of my own making.  It said:  
"There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
The other education requires that we live in our own skin without the validation that comes from a job and we need to find that validation on our own.  We cannot assume that our children will fill that void left by a life without a job.  We have to find a way to become complete without job titles.  Each person does that in their own way.  The task is different for men and women in many cases.  Each knew their roles before retirement.  Then the adjustment of living in a space that may have been reserved for the other can be very hard.  In my case we suffered the angst of sharing the fact the responsibilities for the entire "house".  Before we retired, we each had our roles and did not have the time or energy to watch how the other person did their job.  We are two very strong personalities so we had opinions when we began to watch each other...those opinions were not always welcome by the person that had been doing that job for many years.

So, if you are just starting with the "other education" let me reassure you that it is not unlike the first, the one you worked for so you could make a living.  It takes time and lots of practice.  But in the end you can live a very long time just being who you are!  AND if you choose, you will be very happy!

Have a wonderful day.


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  1. Barb,

    You are exactly right. The "second eduaction" is both scary and empowering. You are pretty much learning as you go in retirement. It is really up to you how it will develop. You must figure out time management, filling your day in a meaningful way, and adjusting to being around another person (the angst of the kitchen).

    It is worth the effort. The end result is tremendous.

  2. Thank you for the comment Bob. I just found the quote very interesting.


  3. Oh my gosh, Miss b, those words absolutely resonated. The "other education" happens every day!!! Yesterday the two of us embarked upon the job of straightening out the pantry and kitchen cupboards. Who would know there could be SO MANY differences of opinion, that I would cry twice, and that after the ordeal, hubby would have to drive to town to soothe my hurt feelings by buying and serving Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner. And he retrieved the bowl I bought 45 years ago and returned it quietly to MY cupboard. Not all things can find compromise. Norah

  4. Dear dear N,

    We are still doing the dance in the kitcheh, pantry and living room. I know how it goes.

    Our latest realization was that it was not what we said but the tone of voice we used. At last... peace in the household.


  5. This is a challenging time for a couple. We do not argue or squabble- we simply try to work through it. We both have worked the last fifteen years- so housekeeping was hit and miss.
    So, we have come to a compromise of doing what bugs us all the time and what doesn't bug us once a week. lol.
    We have agreed that the dishes do not have to be put in the dishwasher a certain way or the whites have to be washed separately (since there are no real whites in our house left).
    The difficulty comes in yard work. I am afraid of the mowers. If I could get over the fear- the work would be done in short order. Maybe next summer!
    Thank you for hitting a very important topic for me. At least I know that I am not alone!


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