This has been a very eventful year. It was actually about a year ago that we had to start admitting Regina into the hospital off and on because her doctors had various concerns about things. Who would have known?
And now – a year later – look at where I am and where you are. Regina is gone – I lost my wife and you lost your mother, sister, friend, companion, peer, person you talked to the night before a school snow day. And this is how it will be from now on.
Also, I decided to step away from my career in the past year. This past week, I took the leap. I’m not exactly sure what happens next but regardless – it will come. I’ve had lots of advice given to me. One said retirement was like cleaning out your desk for the final time. Another said it was like taking a vacation but just never going back. Yet another has told me that retirement is like a divorce. I’m not sure if any of these really help me out much. Some have commented on how nice it will be for me to have time off to travel and do things with the grand-kids and – on and on and on – because now you can do things together… Uh-oh. I’ve been embarrassed for several people who got all wrapped up in their retirement stories – I am, of course, glad for them – but they forgot that I am not sharing my retirement with anyone.
Again, I’m not sure if anyone has really told me anything profound about what retirement will bring me. Well, that is what it is, I suppose.
Many have asked what I am going to do for the first few months or year. I tell them that I have lots of little home projects that have been put off for way too long, some travel is planned, some volunteer work is arranged here locally, and I want to be with people who need someone to be with them. Other than that, I don’t have much else planned for the first year.
I have said many times that the first few weeks is all about detox and decompression. D&D. I like that. I made it up myself.
Detox and decompression.
There is still lots of career energy pulsing through my mind and veins – that needs to get purged. There is still a lot that I think about with regard to schedules and tasks and getting things done – all from my controlling background. This needs to ease up. I need to learn to be quiet. I need to find peace not in the business of activity but in the business of being satisfied. This will take awhile – getting over the many decades of fast-paced, deadline-driven, dog-eat-dog worlds that I have worked in. I still feel that there is a lot of venom and bubbling blood in my veins. I need to get rid of it somehow.
I don’t have much planned to talk about here in the next few weeks but that is, I suppose, some of my madness. I want to just let it come.
So today I decided to downsize my wallet. I was suffering from Costanza-ache due to my wallet size. And maybe sometime I will tell you my story about how hard it was to evacuate my wallet of its flotsam and jetsam. Anyway, I found something that I had written back in 2006 with other members of a small group. We were asked to write up a 30-second ‘elevator speech’ that we could share with anyone about who and what we were. This seven year old piece of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper folded up about eight ways was in my wallet and had been in my wallet for seven years. But the words are still good, I think.
12/10/06 I am who I am and I am a Christian because I believe and have made the decision that God is real. He has protected me my whole life, he has provided opportunity, he has brought peace, and he loves. I would not want to live in a world where there is not a God like this one.
– Downsize wallet
– Don’t worry about retirement
– Stick to my faith