Self-Imposed Trial Retirement

I went in with questions.

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I am coming out with questions. More questions.

I did not have a plan. I did not make a plan.

Overall, my bills did not change. My income stopped. House sitting did not pay, it was a means to cut hotel bills out of the equation.

This is true of most retirements. The bills don’t change but the income does. Retirement is the time in life when major changes happen. You quit the life that you had to restructure your days and all of its aspects are touched.

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I did not leave my worries at the door. I did not get a tool box of tricks for Christmas that were picked out for this journey.

I got to sit alone by the sea. Sometimes with stretches of sand all to myself. No schedule. No where to be and no one with any expectations or needs waiting at home.

What comes is endless stretches of time. An empty stage, a microphone turned on and picked up by your inner critic. No hook from someone standing off stage left to remove the heckler because there is no one else.

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Silence makes your sense of hearing more keen; like eyes adjusting to the dark.

Silence might be good medicine, especially for those weary from our multimedia world. As mothers know, what is good for us is not necessarily our first choice, or the most savory.

Ask a woman pregnant with triplets how restful bed rest is and you might hear words that you don’t associate with relaxation, well-being, reprieve.

Silence can be the same. Necessary. Life-giving. And a gift to be endured until you can find the endearing.

Allowing silence to restack the blocks of my life into a new structure has been startling, sad and absolutely necessary. Now to stand back, regard what is before me and determine, if as Rilke said, I am  “a falcon, a storm or a great song.”

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