I have always liked short succinct bits of wisdom, whether it’s a quote from a famous author of legendary intellect, statements from wise friends and family members, or something I have learned in my personal life. Many times the words of the scriptures speak timely wisdom to me in the most appropriate ways and I find encouragement and hope. As I approach retirement I find myself looking for wisdom in this inevitable approaching change.
Lately, folks have been asking me, “I know you are looking forward to retirement. What are you going to do?” My reply is not a negative response it’s just a very honest one. I guess I am looking forward to it and I am not sure what I am going to do. Kim will have some items on the agenda but I don’t want her to set my goals and objectives (nor does she want to). There could be some concerns that I will follow her around like a lost puppy, and I am pretty sure Kim will not be carrying treats in her pocketbook to positively reinforce this behavior. In fact, Kim will probably carry a rolled-up newspaper with her and assure me via this tool that I need to do something else. Lately, I have been informed that the kitchen is her domain, that decorating the house is not my job, and I need to do the work on the outside of our castle and quit overseeing and critiquing her. I let her know I was the main man at the Oliver abode as I glared at her and gave her a piece of my mind. I said, “Ok, that sounds good.”
One thing I will not do is disengage. My favorite seminary professor and friend the late Doctor Bob Dale told us in one of his courses that disengagement can lead to early death or at least ill health. So I plan on staying active. I will take my naps on a daily basis. I take a “sitting up 15-minute powersnooze” every day when possible. The codeword for the staff at church was I am running home to take care of the dog. Which was not a lie … I get dawg tired around 1 pm (sorry for that comment). However, I do not intend to sleep my life away.
My retirement goal prior to Parkinson’s was to paint pictures, write stories, and learn to play a very loud electric guitar. I have revised it somewhat due to my current circumstances. I may take an art class. I will write some crazy stories. I have a 30-year-old novella/short story I plan on self-publishing. The loud guitar is out of the question now due to motor skill difficulties. I have accepted the fact that I will not be the next BB King, Eric Clapton, or Jimi Hendrix. However, the void has been filled thanks to Ransome Poston. He took me fishing at Caswell, and I realized I can still tie the needed knots to secure swivels and hooks on the line. They are ugly knots but a bass or bream doesn’t care. I will be fishing to fill the vacancy left by my dashed guitar hero dreams.
So my short bit of wisdom in response to those who ask what I will be doing in retirement is this: I will live life to the fullest and this includes remembering what Jesus said in John 10:10. “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” “They” includes me and I thank God I have taken Him up on the offer.