Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Marvelous Adventure of (Retired) Living

When people ask me if I'm "retired," I'm never quite sure what to say to them. In short, I've gone from teaching 6 classes per year to 4. However, I teach these classes as a part-time, adjunctive professor. So I guess I can say that I'm officially "retired" from fulltime teaching. 

The Lord has been so gracious to me. I've never been happier or fitter. I find it's important to have a daily routine both spiritually, mentally, and physically. It's also important to love and enjoy the present. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is a dream. Today is a gift. I suppose that's why it's called the "present." This helps me to recognize that the "past" is over and the "future" is nothing to worry about. Now in retirement I live in the present and enjoy the simplest things of life. 

If you're nearing retirement, my advice to you would be: Stay healthy and mobile as long as you can. Continue to learn and grow. Be positive. Accept change and don't beat yourself down. Have attainable goals that challenge the mind and keep you going. Grow older with compassion and dignity. Beware of toxic personalities. Help them if you can, but be ready to detach if you can't. 

We are all different, but I feel I have got my balance just about right. I am never bored. I enjoy having the freedom to do exactly what I want (within reason) and having the financial security to make that possible. As long as your mind and body are not idle, any phase of life can be enjoyable and meaningful. Becoming interested in a deeper understanding of Scripture, science, and technology will help you keep a sharp edge to your mental health. You do not need to miss out on anything. I am as busy as I've ever been. It's taken a lifetime to get here but I'm ready to embrace the present. My greatest happiness comes from my children and grandchildren as well as from friends. As time passes I'm all too aware of how limited it is and am truly thankful for each day. Letting go of the past can be a positive way forward, and nurturing our soul in shared worship or in solitude can enable us to better prepare for our death. I would say follow your interests and you will be far busier than ever, but only as much as you choose. Don't let others decide what level of life you should be living. It's your life to do what makes you happy no matter what that may be as long as it glorifies Christ. Life will continue (in what manner, I do not fully know), but the adventure will be full of mystery and discovery.