Retirement, A Few More thoughts

A second look at the winter of my content…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

The last third of my life? Retirement is a bountiful thing. Performance standards, to do lists, annual reviews and the competition with others are elements of my life that have drifted into nothingness.

I am doing what I have always wanted to do: helping those in need, reading the best fiction and non-fiction I can find, and publishing memoirs with a novelette in draft.

I have focused on one particular qualities in need of refinement in my soul, patience. I am learning to tell better stories and connect to others more fully, particularly my spouse of over 40 years.

Yes there are bumps in the road. Yes my health is not what it was ten years ago. But the good Lord has blessed me with vigor and a meaningful life.

I am old. Thank God I have lived long enough to be called old .

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That Unique Day

“Seize the moments of happinesslove and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.” Leo Tolstoy

If given some thought, those three elements are the cherished essence of our human lives. The ten hours you may have worked on even a thrilling project yesterday, or, the great meal you may have relished of late, if you are wed, pale in comparison to your nuptials.

A wedding is an event immersed in happiness and love. It was for me the most wonderful day of my life.

Is it any wonder that Christ’s first miracle occurred at a wedding? It is, after all, by His life that we count our days in these 2 millennia since He walked among us.

Memories

So I have written three books of memoir and it  leaves little in what’s left of my mind of merit to recall. But there was the reaction I got in the fall of 1957 entering junior high having lost 20 percent of my body weight.

I went from 103 lbs. to 83 lbs. That was 3 months of caloric control. You ask why I subjected my twelve year old self to all that denial. I was strongly motivated. In 6th grade I had discovered girls. No I don’t mean my crush on my beautiful, brunette, second grade teacher, I mean sixth grade girls.

I remember one tall, skinny friend who saw me with bugged out eyes. There was a girl I had known that past year whose jaw dropped. It may well be the event I look back on with some of my most wholesome feelings.

Calling me fatty had ended. That quickly transitioned to Shorty. I couldn’t do a whole lot about that.