Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What Will I Do With Myself?

Ever since the word got out that I am finally going to retire people have been very curious about what I am going to do with myself.  At my retirement party almost everyone who spoke to my wife asked, “So what is Michael going to do with his time”?  Most of us have spent many years working so it is hard to imagine a life that doesn’t include mandatory working.  However, for most of us work is just something we do.  It is not who we are.  I am also amazed at how many people assume I will spend all my time traveling.  They must think that senior citizens get free hotels, free transportation, and access to eat anything they want at all restaurants for free.  Retirement doesn’t make you suddenly wealthy.  I don’t expect my lifestyle to get better.  I just hope I can maintain what I currently have.  As far as my new found time, I do not plan to jump from one rat race into another one.  Since I am retiring in the dead of winter I don’t expect to do anything much until the spring.  Anyone who knows me is aware that I am very much an introvert.  I love my solitude.  My immediate goal upon retiring is to rest, heal, and catch up on the many books I have accumulated.  I also hope to resume a more disciplined meditation routine as well as getting back on the horse with writing.  There is also a wonderful park near my home with a great walking path that I hope I can make myself visit several times a week, if not every day.  I am hoping I never have to work for money again.  What I would like to do is eventually volunteer at places where I can give back and help people.  I am especially interested in working at a local soup kitchen that feeds the hungry.  Much of my training and education is in the general field of ministry.  Before I came to Humana I spent two years working  as a kind of social worker at a church.  Some may consider it a weakness that my approach to leadership at Humana has been rooted in ministry.  Enlightened people at Humana call this Servant Leadership.  The bottom line is that I am not rushing into anything after I leave Humana.  My entire life up till now has been spent doing what other people wanted me to do.  It began with parents and teachers, it continued with a wife, children, bosses, and other people in general.  It is time to do what I want.  I recently saw a joke where a wife asked a husband what he was doing.  He replied, “Nothing”.  The wife said, “You did that yesterday”.  The husband replied, “I’m not done yet”.  We all spend much of our life doing many things whether they are necessary or not.  People are hyper-active.  Part of my early education and training was also living in a monastery.  When I leave here I plan to spend more time being than doing.  My inner monk will be re-born.  Who knows what else I may become?  There are probably sides to me that I have not discovered yet.  Of course, I could be like my 88 year old mother and I could rock in my chair all day and stare out the window.