About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


   The other day in the mail, I received an invitation from the district superintendent to attend the annual retirement reception.  Technically, I am still employed as a teacher, using up my sick days during these last few months when I haven’t been teaching.  After that, I leave the profession, leave the district, and will “retire due to disability.”

   Until rather recently, “retirement” was way off in the future.  When my hair would be grayer, my son would be an adult, and my age would be written as “sixty-something.”  Except, I am still a brunette, my five-year-old son will start kindergarten in the fall, and I’m thirty-seven.  

   And at thirty-seven years of age, retirement doesn’t mean what I thought it would.

   I had thought retirement might mean relocating closer to the ocean.  It doesn’t.  We’re still living in the same home we’ve lived in for the last nine years with no plans on moving anytime soon.

   I had thought retirement might mean finally owning a convertible.  It doesn’t.  A 1965 cherry red Mustang convertible will still stay in my fantasies, because my 2003 blue Honda Civic is already paid for.  

   I had thought retirement might mean days of spontaneity with no set schedules to follow.  It doesn’t.  My days revolve around my son’s current pre-school schedule and will be amended when he starts kindergarten in August. 

   Retirement does mean leaving one’s job.  Our society generally associates retirement with one’s age and years of service. (I had twelve years of service).  Many people voluntarily make the decision to retire after calculating their living expenses and the new-take-home pay they can expect. 

   And I did have a choice.  I could have ignored my doctor’s advice.  I could have kept teaching.  But, it got to the point where I didn’t like who I was when I was still working.  I was someone constantly fatigued, constantly in pain, and constantly unhappy.  And selfishly, I had to stop thinking about other people’s children and start focusing on my own.  I wanted my son to know a happier mommy, and hopefully, a healthier mommy.  And that’s why I retired.

   So for now, retirement means that while my son’s at school, I have some leisure time.  A lunch with a friend, writing time, errands -- it’s my choice.  I’ll open the sunroof on my car.  My husband and I will wander around the Venice Canals while our son is in school.  It’s not the retirement I had originally planned, but as I’m constantly learning, life doesn’t always go as planned.


  1. I am so proud of you and your decision. I know that Ryan would love you no matter what your decision was, but I am so glad you made that decision. What courage and bravery you have!! I love you so very much and love to read your writing. It allows me into your life even from miles away!!
    Hang in there and focus on the positive!!

  2. I know retirement was certainly not in your plans for now,but having to deal with all the pain you are experiencing and all the doctor appointments you have weekly following your doctor's advice to leave your job now was the right thing to do.I hope and pray that each day your pain will be a little less than the day before.I am so sorry you have been dealt this hand of a disease that can't be cured and that comes with such horrible pain.You certainly don't deserve it.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  3. Your Mother has taught me that "Everything Happens for a Reason". Forgetting the reasons why, this retirement, has allowed you to become a published author. Despite the pain you live with, you are an excellent Mother, Wife, and Daughter. I am proud of you and I like the person you have become.

    Love, Dad

  4. Honey,
    I am so happy that you now have more time for yourself to focus on the things you love most.
    Ryan and I are eternally grateful for you. I hope now that you are free from your teaching duties that time will ease the constant pain you endure day in and day out. I am always here for you.
    I Love You!