Making the transition into retirement has been somewhat easier because of some of the planning that was done. I have been reminded that no amount of planning covers every eventuality. So, should we just not plan? Of course not. It is been my experience that the people most ready to change are the folks who have a plan. This seems counterintuitive. It may seem that the ones floating along without planning or schedules are the freest to seize new opportunities. It seems to be the opposite is more true. People with plans are not looking for something to do but are open to changing direction if there is another and possibly a better solution offered.
I cannot say that the above-pictured statement is my new motto, though there are parts I like.
Go. The default for many after a lifetime of working is to just sit down and enjoy the rest and relaxation. In a previous post, I told you that I am a fan of taking a sabbatical at the start of retirement and observing and listening to what direction the Lord has for you. I am actively doing this at the moment. A part of our planning for this stage includes travel. We have been spending time with our son since we left Indiana. In a couple of weeks, we will start leg two of our journey and relocate to Florida. We are going to see friends in Maine and I am officiating a wedding next month. We are going to England and then to the continent of Europe and then enjoying a transatlantic cruise. We have another couple of short trips jammed in before the end of the year, which includes holiday traveling back to Illinois. Why? We planned it, paid for it, and knew we would need to be occupied. Another reason is that you do not know how long you will have your health. I have talked to a few people recently, who planned to take a couple of trips and then never really got it done and now it is too late physically. So we are in a minor way living out that part of the motto: Go. In my previous life oftentimes trips had to be short because of our responsibilities, so we going to travel for at least a season.
Talk. I love to talk so this seems would be easy. I made a commitment to talk to someone new daily and to greet people I come in contact with and it is also a nice experiment. As I walk our dog Roscoe I meet a lot of walkers and in the neighborhood where we are staying people are very friendly. Susanne made cookies and brownies for the three families we share a condo building with and we have become quite acquainted with each of them. We have met new people at church, the gym, and even the store. This was brought into my mind because when people become disconnected from work and longtime friends there is a tendency to withdraw and isolate. To counteract this we limit our television time. We have implemented several other routines to keep us from isolation. Some quiet time is essential and necessary, and like many things, you can have too much.
Eat. Another minor thing is we are trying to eat new food. Susanne decided to make a new meal that she has never made before each week. This is a part of our branching out and trying things that are new to us. I am thankful today for my grandmother who made me try different foods. So far in my life, I have not found anything I couldn’t eat, there are things I don’t particularly care for, but if I came to your house and you served this food I could eat it.
One of the reasons I am doing this is no doubt because I lived a fairly regimented life. I laid out my clothes the night before. I made a list before going to bed of the three things I had to get done the next day, etc. I was aware it would be quite a change to go from having a must-do today’s list to nothing. I can say one month in, it has not been as difficult as I imagined. There is a passage that I think of often. I close with this promise and pray you will have a great and blessed week:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.