I recently retired from a job I held for more than 20 years. For me that was a plunge without a proverbial net for many reasons I won’t divulge here. The decision to take the plunge came from deep within my soul. I was 66 at the time and I had this yearning to be an artist, to have more time to explore and learn and to just plain live my life while listening to my natural rhythm. And so I just went and retired from my full-time job and got a puppy.
The first six months were glorious and really busy with a puppy in the middle of an Upstate New York winter but I enjoyed every minute. I slept without setting the alarm, painted on and off throughout the day, took my puppy for a walk and just luxuriated in the freedom of it all. Some days I stayed in my pajamas.
Hallelujah! my season had come… this season of letting go. I let go of my full-time job, my long commute and spending time with co-workers I’d known many years. Some of the letting go was good and some of the letting go was bittersweet.
For every one of us there are seasons in our lives. The Bible speaks of it in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
After about six months it became obvious that I would need a little part-time job. Through God’s grace one came to me right near home and I still have plenty of time to paint, draw, play with Tucker and so forth.
Now that nature’s seasons are changing here in Upstate New York I am reveling in the beauty. I’m taking loads of photos for possible future painting ideas, I’m working on my walkway and trying to figure out what God wants me to do. In the meantime I’m enjoying this glorious autumn. Even after the rain today forced many of the vibrant leaves to the ground it is still just beautiful.
And now in this season of my life I am out to prove (with God’s help) that we can still reach for our dreams, still keep up with a puppy (mostly) and still put the pieces together somehow so that we can live a rich life in any season.
Rock on you 60 somethings… I’m with you!