WORKING ON R.E.T.I.R.E.M.E.N.T.

July 31, 2017

Another month is about to come to a close and I find myself in my usual spot at this point–in the sunroom, banging my head against a virtual wall (because banging my head against a real wall would hurt too much) attempting to come up with something to doodle about. Why do I do this to myself? If I never wrote another Doodle, only maybe half a dozen people would notice without me making a grand announcement about it, so what’s the point? Thank you for asking. Here’s the answer: this is the only regularly scheduled time that I write. Without this tiny act of discipline I would be an even more frustrated writer, a writer who doesn’t write with any regularity whatsoever, a pathetic writer wannabe. So I flail about at the end of each month in order to keep something trickling out onto virtual online paper. BUT this trickle is about to become a flooding torrent!! Now that I’m not working out in the world and I have no more children to raise, I have no excuse for continuing in this once a month mode. As soon as my dearly beloved returns to his teaching gig next month, I am determined to get myself organized and set a time to write EVERY DAY, whether I feel like it or have anything to say or not! I don’t know that I will be writing more than one Doodle a month, but I will be writing something.

So far this is how RETIREMENT is lining up for me, brought to you within the well-used acrostic format:

Rest Lots of resting up from all those years of racing around taking care of little people. And big people. And stuff that continually clogs up the works. Exercise In order to become healthier and less lame, hopefully, I have begun an exercise program involving DVDs, sweat, stretchy bands, weird Yoga postitions and moaning. I do not like exercising. I do not like sweating and moaning. I do not like being lame and pathetic even more. Time Way more time is available to me now to do whatever I choose to do! I must choose wisely and make the most of this valuable commodity. Lord, help me! Intentionality Without this I could drift along enjoying my freedom with no purpose. This would eventually lead me to my own personal Slough of Despond, a stinky, nasty place. I must be intentional about the activities I pursue. Reading How glorious to have more time for reading books and articles out there in the world. This is one area where I don’t want to restrict myself too much. The more reading I do, the more I will learn and grow. We’re working on transforming a bedroom into a library/guest room right now! Encouragement As a genuine elder in the world, I hope to be able to encourage younger parents God places in my path to keep the faith and do their best during the child-rearing years. It’s a difficult and exhausting job, but so worth it. And there is life on the other side. My own daughters would be a good place to start! Mentoring This goes along with encouragement. Being a mentor to some young people would be cool. I have no idea how this might become a part of my new life, so I’ll wait and see what God might have in store. Entertainment Gotta have some pure fun in the mix! Again, I’m not sure what kind of fun I might get into. I’d like to learn how to paint and draw. That might be fun, or it might be frustrating, since I don’t have much natural talent in this area. I like to knit, but that gets tiresome after a while. A book club might be fun. Sports are not fun, except for Kansas City Royals baseball. They need to be in the World Series every year! Nature I need to get out into nature more. I need to sit on my lawn swing and look at birds and breathe some outdoor air. I need to learn more about all that nature business that my husband knows. I should know a red-headed woodpecker from a red-bellied woodpecker. I should know more flowers and trees by name, instead of “that bush that turns red in the fall” or “those flowers with the long stem things covered in purple.” Travel It would be nice to go somewhere other than back to Missouri and Arkansas. Not that I don’t want to ever go back there again. I’d just like to go to some other places as well, such as New England, Canada, the Northwest, the Southwest, Alaska, Hawaii, Europe–basically anywhere on this planet. I have no desire to travel in space or under water.

Shew! Retirement could be really busy!