“Are you enjoying retirement?” I’m asked this question by everyone I talk to. The easy answer? Absolutely! Except, so far, it feels just like summer vacation. As a teacher, I always had time off in the summer. Nothing seems different enough yet. My heart did smile today when I saw the signs advertising back to school sales. Part of my routine includes reflections on how life is going. What do I like and what do I need to change.
So what do I think about retirement? Six weeks into summer vacation, it’s starting to be real. Every other year, my brain would be filled with how to implement new ideas, writing lesson plans and worrying if all the duplicating I sent to the district office was ready and waiting. I still stop with a jolt when I remember I don’t have to do any of those things this year. My summer doesn’t end at the end of July.
Reflections on Changes
I slept until 6:00 instead of waking wide-eyed and bushy tailed at 4:00 for the first time this week. Most people would see that as an obvious plus, but I’m not sure I like it. I love my time by myself-once I give our Boston Terrier, Dolley, her greenie, she goes back to sleep-and for at least two hours, the house is silent. Just me and my thoughts. My time with God and His Word.
I’m not ready to set my alarm yet, but if I I need to, I will. I’d rather keep that work schedule and have time to think through my day with God than feel rushed into starting real life without Him. If I don’t plug in at the beginning of my day, I don’t respond to anything the way I want to.
I love not feeling stressed about getting all of my chores done on Saturday. Instead, I spread things out. And if I can’t get to something today, I know I can do it tomorrow. A week doesn’t go by, building up my tension. I don’t have to choose between chores and people. I can always choose people, knowing the chores will get done in a reasonable amount of time.
Reflections about Moving Forward
I long for routine. Getting ready to move means routine won’t happen for a while. That requires patience on my part. Instead of routine, I decided to do my own farewell tour. Lunch dates with friends before I leave.
A new home in a new state means a new church home. New ministries. Letting God lead instead of me deciding in advance what I’ll sign up for. Having to trust God isn’t new at all, but an honest look at myself shows a tendency to rush in and ask God later. Please, God, keep me from old habits. Take captive every thought and make it obedient to you. I need humility. Use me for what You want, how You want, when You want.
Am I enjoying retirement? Absolutely. I’ll let you know how it goes when I have a little more experience.
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