After the first ninety days of being officially, finally, and (probably) forever retired, I find that I’m still adjusting to the pace. I mentioned a few weeks back I found my self staring at the walls for a few days at first as if I was waiting for a crisis call from work, or hit by the realization that I was late for some important meeting. Those feelings subsided after a bit, and while I still fight the notion that I need to be in a hurry for some unexplained reason, I’m growing more comfortable with the idea of just Easin’ Along. Nevertheless, I intend to be active, both in the community and online, while still reserving plenty of time to travel and visit with our family and friends.
There is a plethora of options out there for anyone who wants to be involved and active. A community the size of the one in which we live offers an abundance of activities which serve the sick, the needy, and our brave veterans. We’re fortunate also to live near a large university with some wonderful programs for study and personal growth. In the future posts we will explore some of those endeavors here.
We’re equally blessed to belong to a strong and vibrant church with an active congregation composed of individuals with diverse interests and backgrounds. We’re indeed fortunate that so many of them use their energy and creative skills in any number of ways to engage us collectively as we pursue our walk of faith as individuals. As a result, the opportunity for spiritual growth is greatly enhanced through fellowship with our members.
In the past we have participated in weekend retreats where, joined by other members, we were challenged by some very gifted church leaders to think in new ways about our own spiritual pursuits. We have had delightful experiences in our church supper clubs by becoming more closely acquainted with fellow members in a smaller, more casual setting. Other activities have included family camping trips, bus trips to regional attractions for seniors, youth outings, mission trips, and exercise classes just to name a few. One of my early experiences with the activities of our church was my participation in a group Bible study almost twenty five years ago when I was undergoing some personal challenges. The experience was profound and provided a great deal of comfort at a time when it was most needed.
This past week we held a gathering for the men of the church and I was “all in”. This is a gathering that had not been held in several years, and two of our members decided that it was time to make it happen once more. They obtained a small meeting room at a local hotel and arranged for a light buffet of delicious food in more than ample quantities. The gathering was scheduled for 5:30 to 7:00. I arrived around the announced starting time, and a number of men were already there. The buffet table was open and a few were eating. Yes, some adult beverages were served to a few and, I think it helped add to a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
As the event progressed it was great to see that our men were moving throughout the room to greet and talk to each other rather than to remain in the same small groups. The ages of the men ran the spectrum which was also good to see–it certainly was no obstacle as the conversations proved to be lively in all corners of the room.
Although the crowd size was somewhat modest, I would certainly proclaim it a success by every measure. As mentioned, our gathering was scheduled to end at 7:00, but it was long past that when we gathered for a group picture and discovered that no one had left. The evening was a great success, and I am certain there will be similar events in the future. One fellow remarked from one corner of the room that hosting a fish fry would be right down his alley. Sign me up!
The point of this post is to say that, while entry into a retirement lifestyle may be an adjustment in the early stages, there will be plenty of opportunities to pick up the pace. I’m eternally grateful to belong to a church that provides opportunities to be active.
Hopefully, I will come to a point in the future, where I realize that retirement is a journey, not a sprint. My nature is to hit the ground running…for now I’m just Easin’ Along.