I woke up this morning thinking that I should have ventured to Rome yesterday to witness the final address by retiring Pontiff, Benedict XVI. As I started to lay out the facts in front of me, the connections between us became a little uncanny.
First, we’re both Catholics. But that’s not where it ends.
You see, Pope Benedict retired yesterday at the age of 85. The same moment that the gates of Castel Gandolfo closed, signalling the official end of this papacy, I officially reached my 85 factor in the teaching profession. That means my age, added to my years of service, added up to 85, enabling me to retire today, March 1st, with a full pension.
Not that I’m going to do that. In fact, the presence two young kids, a still-too-large mortgage and a continuing desire to get up each morning and feel useful will probably keep me working until I die.
But, it’s a day to mark. At the very least, its a day to raise a glass in honour of the last 30 years of a life in education, and propose a toast to the next 30!
So, tonight at Ned Devine’s in Milton, Zoe and I will be gathering for a few drinks. And if any of you are in the area and want to join us after 8:00, I’ll buy your first drink!
Here’s to 85 and February 28th. Sorry, you Holiness, I couldn’t make your celebration, but you’re certainly invited to mine!