A New Journey Begins

A mixture of relief, anxiety and sadness flooded me as I sat in my superintendence’s office last week. With tears running down my cheeks, I simply said, “I’m done. Because of health issues and my need to be with my husband (He works in a town two hours away and stays there during the week.) I need to not sub teach nor run the after school program.” I have wanted to resign for a few year, but not without my husband’s blessings. And finally, the day came.

My boss’s expression softened and he simply replied, “I understand.”

A huge helping of peace washed over me as I wiped tears away. Because I fought to bring the program back last year, my gut twisted at the thought of announcing my resignation. I love each and every student that has touched my heart since 2000, when the program began, which made this declaration even tougher. But in order to keep healthy and happy, I knew I needed to leave.

Since the day my husband and I made the decision that I resign from the school system, I have felt peace and relief. I know I made the right decision. Until I show up for work and the students tell me how much they missed me when I was home due to surgery.

I shared my mixed feelings at women’s Bible study the other week and a friend reminded me that I can still visit from time to time. Judge the science fair, assist with archery in February and March, and judge the senior for the high school presentations–things I already do and love.

I’m thankful my husband is backing me because now I can continue to grow as a writer. I love to create stories that honor his people–the Colville Tribe of Indians. I think part of my relief comes from not being pulled in so many directions.

The best part of this new chapter in my life is knowing I can go to Spokane and spend the night with my husband and not be held back. We can take in a movie. Go to dinner. Things that aren’t offered in the small 500 person town we call home.

In my life, I have only dreamed of changing lives of young people. The good news is I still can. It may not be in the classroom. It may not be after school hours in the library. But it will be as they turn the pages of my books, connecting through stories written for them and about them.

I look forward to the up and coming passage of my life. I have two more days with an amazing group of young people, then a new journey begins.

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  1. Jean Sutton says:

    I know how you feel Carmen. I entered nurses training in 1957 and retired from a job I loved in 2001. I knew that my nursing career was over but I couldn’t walk out of the hospital that last night. Your Dad and I h ad some wonderful travels after retirement and I am so thankful for our time together. We are so blessed with our family and that we have been able to spend so much time with you all. Have a great time in your retirement, you know I am always here for you. Love you always, Mom

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Mom. One more day. Love you, too!

  2. Tena Putnam says:

    Dear Carmen,
    It’s hard to leave a job you love and retire (or resign). I know, I’ve retired twice already. It just opens the doors for other adventures and experiences in life. Being able to regulate your own time and energy is a big plus. Now you can slow down and enjoy more of your surroundings the way God meant for you to (from the back of a horse). I hope we can go riding together soon. Saddle Sisters, here we go.


    1. carmenpeone says:

      Tena, thank you for your encouragement. I look forward to more rides this summer and fall! And what God has in store for me.

  3. Alice Trego says:

    A heartfelt post, Carmen. Thank you for sharing, and reminding me of the times I’ve had to make changes in my life. We all have rites of passages, and you are beginning a new journey that you knew in your heart you needed. Amazing how we humans know when those times are! And you’ll find it more amazing how you’ll be able to take your school experiences and pen them to enrich further the lives of the young whom you love so much.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Alice. It is a rite of passage and I’m looking ahead. My time at school was nothing but a blessing.

  4. I know what you are feeling Carmen. When I left my job in 2011, the hardest thing was the feeling that they really needed me there and that I was somehow abandoning them. But I knew it was the right thing for me at the time, and I had to keep telling myself that no one is indispensable, and that we are all passing through. The very next year, I ended up moving my parents from Alabama to Nebraska and now I take care of them, so really, it was them that needed me, and I could never help them like that if I were still working. I realized God had another plan for me, and a job can always be filled by someone else.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Brigid, just what I needed to hear. Thank you! I know God has a plan for me and I’m ready to fulfill it. I’m leaving with wonderful memories and growth.

  5. Dear Carmen,

    We can love many people and many things, but only devote ourselves to a few, especially if we feel physical limitations.

    It takes courage to take care of ourselves and our core relationships, one of which is with our talent! I have no doubt young people will be enriched by your writing.

    Bless you on your way, and let me know if I can help.


    1. carmenpeone says:

      Kelly, thank you for your encouragement. You are a dear friend. I look forward to more conversations with you.

  6. Oh, friend, the peace, newness, and opportunities of this new chapter will fuel your writerly purposes and passions.

    Now, you’ll have more time for lunch with friends too. 🙂

    Love & Blessings,

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Darlene. I look forward to those lunch dates! Blessings to you, too!