Maria is a veteran teacher who turned down the retirement incentive package offered last spring – something I (Barclay) and 25 eligible others jumped at.
This was perplexing. Maria had tons of retired friends who kept busy lunching, volunteering, reading book club selections with time to spare.
And it wasn’t as if she was passionate about the daily grind of work. So why did she leave money on the table?
Her response? How many times can you clean the house?
She anticipated isolation. Watching too much CNN or MSNBC. Waiting for an invitation to visit her grandkids.
Did Maria have a point? 5 months into retirement, I get it.
On the one hand, I have been liberated from team meetings (no more role playing!), evaluations, testing. I’ve said good-bye to jarring alarm clocks, anxious rush hours, Monday angst, and Sunday blues.
But oh how I miss the kids. The magic of a first grader sounding out a word, a second grader reading a sentence with expression. Even conferencing with parents.
Where’s my purpose now? To Maria’s point, it’s not vacuuming the dog hair that rolls like stage brush through our living room. And lunches, though wonderful, simply don’t cut it.
Today’s Takaway –
- Find your sweet spot of service.
- Who are your new “people”? From toothless babies to toothless dementia patients – someone needs us. Right?
I think I’ve found my people. Some mumble incoherently and some lick their paws. Every Friday I take my crazy Codie to visit a nursing home. She has made friends with Sylvia shaking with Parkinson’s, Father Edward battling throat cancer, Doris who tells the same story each visit, and Anna who gushes Polish love.
Maybe the word, retirement, is a misnomer. Look at Jimmy Carter and Rosalyn’s second chapter of life- putting Habitat for Humanity on the map. Recently President Carter was chomping at the bit to get his hammer back after undergoing treatment for an annoying brain cancer.
90 something. In their sweet spot of service.
Maria was right about one thing. Vacuuming is overrated!
SO… WHAT’S YOUR SWEET SPOT?
Enjoy the ride!
xox, Barclay and Joy