A time to write - just not about snow days | Ann Oxrieder | Still Life

Greetings. My name is Ann Oxrieder. Soon I’ll be sharing my reflections on life, death, aging, mind, body, and spirit on these pages via posts from my blog, Still Life (http://stillalife.wordpress.com/). Keep reading to find out how something this unlikely could occur.

A year ago I retired from Bellevue School District, wrapping up a career that spanned nine job titles (seven of which had to do with communication), five superintendents, 20 school board members, and more than 500 school board meetings.

Since all my jobs required me to write, you’d think that in retirement I’d be ready to trade a keyboard for a paintbrush, garden gloves or a ticket to Tahiti. Nope. I wanted to write.

For the first time in 25 years I didn’t have to describe a new curriculum, spell out budget reductions, or explain to an angry emailer why schools were closed for a snow day when the streets outside his house looked clear. Instead, I could talk about whatever topic I wanted, under an umbrella broad enough to hold off our Northwest rain, “musings about the retired life.” It was exhilarating!

Still, old work habits are hard to break. This past year, I continued to seek media coverage, not for the school district, but for people and programs in Bellevue. I contacted Bellevue Reporter editor Craig Groshart to pitch my ideas. After all, he sat next to me in at least 40 of those school board meetings as an education reporter.

A few months have passed and I haven’t persuaded Craig to follow up on any of my ideas, but he did ask me to send him some of my blog postings each month, an unexpected but gratifying outcome.

I’m looking forward to writing and receiving your comments ... about everything but snow days.


Ann Oxrieder has lived in Bellevue for 35 years. She retired after 25 years as an administrator in the Bellevue School District and now blogs about retirement at http://stillalife.wordpress.com/.

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