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I'm working but mentally I'm retired. Good or bad?
Old 09-28-2007, 12:38 AM   #1
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I'm working but mentally I'm retired. Good or bad?

Hi all,
I have not been here for a while, as I've been busy adjusting. I'm a 60 year old teacher. I am also a "permanent resident" in Singapore and former teacher at an international school there for 20 years. It was great, and I still call Singapore home and can go there anytime to live. I had intended to just "hang out", do my yoga, swim, maybe tutor in my field (physics and chemistry) and enjoy an unstructured life. However, I received a phone call from a friend and ex-colleague in Amman, Jordan to ask if I would help out by teaching science at his school where he is a headmaster. Apparently there was a late resignation. and he had some difficulty getting a replacement. I accepted although my mental state was retirement.

Here is my interesting self observation. I still think I'm retired, but my teaching now is geared toward one year contracts and helping out schools in need. I have nothing to prove any more in education, and now I want to work hard not to advance my teaching career but instead just help out. It's a liberating feeling actually.

Before I arrived in Jordan, I was actually fearful of being in a country next to Iraq. Instead what I am finding is a country with some of the most hospitable people in the world. In general, they hate the US government (and I'm not crazy about it either), but they like visitors no matter where they are from. I get lost easily as I drive around the city, and when I ask for help, I'm invited for tea and make friends while I am receiving directions. I find Amman very safe, but realize that no city is really totally safe and exercise normal precautions. The weather is frankly the best I've ever experienced. Crystal blue skies, warm or cool dry weather, and with winter coming, I'm looking forward to the occasional snow.

For those ever wanting to visit Amman but uncertain of its reputation, my opinion is please come. Visas are easy to get at the airport and extend. Restaurants are inexpensive and food is quite good. Also, a very nice two bedroom furnished apartment by the month will cost about US$300. With the Dead Sea, Petra, and so many other ancient attractions here, you are kept busy. In short, you just might like it.

After being here for a year, I plan on relocating to Montreal, Canada where I have purchased an apartment. That will be my homebase where I can venture off to other countries for short periods of time helping schools that are in need of a teacher. It allows me to see even more of the world and use my expertise to help with no desire to further my career (which is unimportant now). Anyway, I wanted to express this in writing so that maybe some of you might comment, or perhaps you are doing the same thing.


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Old 09-28-2007, 06:20 AM   #2
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Nice write up and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I'm about 13 weeks and one day from just beginning to approach your situation. I aspire to the calm peaceful sense of being that you seem to have acheived.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:56 AM   #3
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Sounds like the best of both worlds!
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:26 AM   #4
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I've never been to Jordan but, I too, find the people very very warm.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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I've been to Jordan, our base for the visit was in and around 7th circle in Amman. During our week or so there, we saw Petra, Jurash, Madaba, Mt Nebo, Ajilon Castle, and the Citadel. Fantastic country, and I'll agree - very friendly people.

The medical care there is apparently quite good, a friend who's an expat living in Jordan had a hip replacement done at an Amman hospital and was quite pleased with the results and the reasonable costs.
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:41 PM   #6
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Good or bad, could be either. Are you working on your terms or others?

INMHO, if you are working because you have to, it's bad. If you are working because you want to it's good. If you are working because you want to, then please try to contribute more than someone who has to work would.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:49 PM   #7
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Nice report. I'm a chemistry/biochemistry professor, but as of next June, my teaching days are over. I have plenty of other things to do...

...unless I'm needed somewhere.

Congratulations on your willingness to contribute to science understanding, wherever that might be.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:26 PM   #8
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sounds like a wonderful time! enjoy
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:59 PM   #9
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I understand Rob's and WithAllMyHeart's positions exactly. Rather than retire February 1 of this year as previously planned, in spring 2006 I agreed to move to a new university to help start a new program but with the caveat that I would only stay through the end of the 2007-2008 academic year.

Time is now zipping by, and although I'm enjoying the assignment, I find my mind elsewhere most of the time. In short, I'm mentally well on the way to FIRE ... If I "work" in the future, it will be just to help out and for very limited time periods.
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