The most difficult thing getting used to when I went into retirement was the lose of income. There were times in my younger years that I used to measure my self-worth in terms of the income I made or how my income was compared to others doing similar work as I did. It was unnerving waking up one morning and realizing i was no longer earning. Though we have set aside a good portion of what we earned so Anabelle and I would have something for our old age; I now realize that as we go deeper into our senior years, it is the love and relationships we have stored over the years that will tide us over and into the next level.
I still long for the days when I could touch the lives of people and make their situation in life better. Today, I help prepare Jonathan and Jane for the time when they will take wings themselves by providing them with solid roots to keep them strong for their future flight.
I sometimes reminisce the times I wrote strategic plans or policy papers to guide the corporations or institutions I worked with. Today, I write my daily reflections, share them with whoever would read them and hopefully spark a thought or an insight that would guide some soul out of the darkness or the pain; or ignite an inspiration that would bring more joy and appreciation in someone’s life.
I miss the days I would go on business travels, meet important people, stay and dine in fancy places and be impressed by new sights and sounds. And then, even get paid while enjoying these things. Today, Anabelle and I would wake up early some mornings and go and take a walk into the woods, hike the mountains, or stroll by the sea. We soak in the beauty of nature and feel God’s presence walking with us. We do not get paid doing these but neither do we have to spend.
I do not really miss the big parties and gatherings that used to be part of our lives in the past. But the friends we made in those days have stayed in our hearts. We will always make time to go out and meet friends who are anywhere near our neck of the woods. Senior moments notwithstanding, we try to fondly remember them on their important dates and drop them a line or two.
These are simple and small things compared to that things we used to do. For the most part, money nor possessions do not come into consideration. But Anabelle and I feel rich beyond measure. We can live with a lot less than we have been used to and everything we have we are ready to share and finally leave behind to our loved ones.
The Lord made us, we belong to him.
Jesus said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God.