Retirement – The New Frontier

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Do you ever get up and wonder, what am I going to do today?

Okay. I finally get it. It only took me a year, but I finally get it. You wake up every morning, you have a cup of coffee, you piddle around, you have another cup of coffee, then piddle some more. Then there’s lunch — well sometimes there’s lunch — then you piddle some more. Before you know it it’s time to start dinner. In my case what comes next is because I have a husband that works — we catch up on each others day, eat dinner, talk a little more then go to bed. That’s it!

Wrong! That’s just wrong. Retirement is not for piddling — unless that’s what makes you happy. Retirement is made for enjoying life. Doing whatever the heck you want and not having to be accountable to anyone — unless, of course, you are fortunate enough to still have your soul mate with you.

Yes, in retirement everyday is a Saturday. But the great thing is you don’t have to fight the crowds. Let me give you an example. I needed a few things from the store the other day. And, when I say store that would be the grocery store. You see, I don’t go to the store once a week any more. I just go whenever I need something. So, I went the other day to pick up some Salmon and two other things. I got a front row spot, which is becoming more and more important if you know what I mean. I went straight to the buggie bin and someone actually pulled one out for me and said have a nice day. I grabbed a sanitizing wipe and was on my way. I went in for three things and came out with twenty one (one more than was allowed in the express check-out but no one protested because there weren’t many shoppers in the store. I took my stuff to the car in record time but realized I had forgotten to get one of the three things that had brought me to the store to begin with. But, it didn’t rattle me because I’m no longer on a schedule. So I walk back in the store, pick up what I had forgotten and still made it back to my car in less time than I would have if I had gone on a Saturday.

Most of my Saturdays, before retirement, were filled with running errands much like I just described but I would have never found a front row spot unless it was one of those “I must be living right” days. I would have fought over getting a buggie, and reached for a sanitizing wipe only to find an empty container. Then I would have spent an hour or more waiting for other shoppers to move down the aisles only to wait again when I got to the check out line. Would this rattle me. Yes, I’m afraid to admit it would. You could find me counting items in other people’s buggies on any given day and if I was bold I would let the cashier know that the person had cheated when they had gotten in her line.

But I am beyond all of that now. I have grown to realize that time is precious. And, I don’t want to get in a hurry and miss out on something I might not even see if I’m speeding along. My mother used to say, “You’re wishing your life away”, whenever I would say, “I wish Christmas (or something else) would hurry up and get here.”

She was right of course. So I’m thanking God for this new frontier and am trying to slow down and savor the moment and allow Him to reveal his glory to me.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Misunderstandings

Just so there is no misunderstanding. This was my life. My life, that is, a hundred years ago; or so, it seemed.
My dad was always angry and I never really could figure it out. One minute he would be deep in thought and then he would just burst into a tirade. Could it be that I had disappointed him somewhere along the way? Or, could it be that I was a girl, and we all knew he favored his sons.
I remember when I was little I was his favorite. We had family pizza night every Thursday night and this was the night that I had just a few minutes with my dad; just him and me. He’d yell from the kitchen, “Come on Susie. We have to leave now if we want to have Pizza tonight.” And, at that very moment just like every other week, I’d throw my Barbie doll on the bed, watch her bounce as if she were on a trampoline, and run into my daddy’s arms. I believe at that moment in time he loved me the most but he soon grew out of me.
I guess I was growing up too fast, or maybe he just preferred sports over music, but no matter what the reason was I had become invisible to him.
When I was 14 his anger had manifested itself into something unmanageable. My mom seemed very bitter and was often away from home. One night I thought I saw her take a pill and then she slept for days. The children marched into her room every day and talked to her as she starred blindly into space. This was supposed to help her wake up, he told us. At first, it did nothing but after a few days she began drinking water and tears trickled down her cheeks. It was during this time that my dad began yelling and criticizing me more and more.
When I decided to quit a job working at a construction site because I was subjected to cat calls every day, he badgered me even more. “I knew you wouldn’t last. You’ll never amount to anything!”
And even though I was a quiet girl he would yell, “Why can’t you be like your sister? She never talks back. You need to learn some respect!”
It was only when the local Sherriff drove up in our driveway one afternoon that I realized it wasn’t about me at all. The guilt and shame of adultery had been eating away at my parents for years. Like vultures eating away at a dead animal, he had nothing left inside. Now, he was at rock bottom. I saw him sink to the ground and weep as he looked at the papers.
Then as quickly as the Sherriff had backed out of the driveway and disappeared over the hill, he gathered himself up off of the ground, looked over at me with a sad smile and said, “Are you up for a pizza?”

Annette R Burrell
11/5/2013 (c)