A while back I saw a cartoon in The New Yorker that depicted a college student sitting across the desk from an interviewer. “I’d like one of those careers where you make a six-figure income while wearing a T-shirt and sweatpants,” he said. Well, I have the T-shirt and the sweatpants but not the six-figure income. And I wouldn’t call “retirement” a career exactly. But I get the sentiment. Being comfortable in your life’s work, being happy—isn’t that what we all wish for, not only for ourselves but for our children too. My early years as a teacher were not all sunshine and lollipops, but there were enough moments of sheer joy that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I was actually being paid to do something I would have done for free. I know that many of you reading this feel that way too, but I also know that it is getting more difficult to sustain those moments of joy. We are teachers, though. Our vocation is not a “job” but how we live our lives. When I retired I mused to a student, “What will I be when I’m not a teacher anymore?” And that wise 18 year-old said to me, “Mrs. D., your will always be a teacher. That’s who you are!” Happy Monday, everyone!