I am nearing 66 years old and retirement is often on my mind. For the past 20 plus years I have worked with college students, many who are the first in their families to attend college.
The thing about working at a college, I keep getting older and the students stay the same age. I have worked many extra hours at this job always trying to find a better way to serve them.
One of our programs is a peer mentoring program where we work with juniors and seniors, in class level, as they mentor groups of 10 new freshmen students for an entire year. It has been very successful, but requires making sure our mentors are supported too.
As I come closer to retirement, I know this could be the last time I take students-our peer mentors- on a retreat. This year’s theme was “Balance.” Our mentors often get overwhelmed with their job. We brought them up to Lake Tahoe yesterday for a short retreat.
We wandered down to a beach and found a good little blues band last night.
Of course we took the group picture.
This morning we cooked a pancake breakfast. Then we went to another beach and we had a guided meditation.
Next, we took them up the gondola in Squaw Valley where they could get a different view, including one of Lake Tahoe.
By the way, I am not crazy about heights!
After that, they all went swimming in Lake Tahoe.
And now, I just got back from dinner with all of them.
At this very moment, I am stretched out on a hotel bed, dealing with a very sore foot while they are around a campfire roasting marshmallows.
I have been very blessed to do a job that I care about and some would say I was good at. I am afraid of retirement and at the same time know I can’t work like I used to.-that this is a younger person’s job.
I hope when people look back on my work that they say, “He cared about us.” I would be very happy with that summary of my work.
Thank you all so much for reading my odd little blog!