When asked what retirement was like I replied that every day is like Saturday. While the answer is not exactly true it does describe the change after 41 years with the same employer. Sunday is the one exception. I am grateful that every seven days worship, learning, and fellowship with fellow believers provides a wonderful reminder that there is still a rhythm to life.
I have received a paycheck from my work on a weekly or monthly basis for the past 55 years and it felt strange when there was not one this past July 1. Thankfully there was a deposit a few days later from my pension account. It was not as much as usual but enough to live on. I am thankful for this provision.
Transitioning from 41 years of active employment to having no office to go to and no scheduled responsibilities has been interesting, and for the most part, enjoyable. The not-so-fun part was going through paper and digital files from the beginning of my work in 1972. Sorting and disposing of a multitude of miscellaneous data consumed an enormous amount of time. Then I realized that someone else could probably benefit more than me from my books so I gave away most of them.
Some people say they are busier in retirement than when they were working. I have always been busy trying to do what was expected of me. These past five months have also been pretty busy but it has been “my busy.” I have not been busier than before but I have not been idle.
Since the end of June I have had plenty of public speaking opportunities (which I love). I started taking Spanish classes. I am mentoring a couple of young persons, writing a weekly blog (www.thoughtsforthursday.wordpress.com), and doing some traveling.
My wife and I enjoyed a three week 4,600 mile road trip (mostly on secondary and country roads) in northeastern US and a cruise to Turkey and Greece. A trip to Uganda and two weeks with our family in Malaysia closes out 2013. Israel, Alaska, Braves Spring Training, and a Tulip River Cruise are planned for 2014.
I have sought guidance for what God wants me to do in the next phase of my life. I did not retire with a plan but I believe if I am doing today what I am supposed to do, I will be where God wants me to be tomorrow. God has not failed me yet.
I hope I will continue to have opportunities to use my talents and experience and I will travel as long as health and money permits. Next year will find me working in a local church on a very part-time basis and promoting Imagine No Malaria in North Georgia. I am not sure what all the future holds but “my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)