Retired Time


Todayclock is my birthday: a watershed year. I have gone through several stages to get used to the thought, but now I’m beginning to embrace it. It has taken a while to acknowledge that television personalities and company executives are usually younger than my husband and me. Our “kids” not only became full adults long since, but are mature parents and in the middle of their own careers. And I no longer mind being part of the retired class.

But what still trips me up sometimes is how hard I should be working – that is, how much I should be doing on projects related to my major passions (writing and stewardship/generosity). There, I’ve said “should” twice in one sentence, and even used the term “working!” I’ve never thought that retirement should be merely a glorified sandbox for seniors to play in, ignorant of the wider world or serious issues. I still remember one of our vows when I was ordained, about never being “triflingly employed.”

At the same time, quality-of-life issues and the use of one’s time take on a different cast at this age. I do want to finish writing my book on Growing a Generous Soul and to get it out there to people. (IAnd yet it takes time to sort through my over-researched folders.) And I want to keep spending quality time with my husband and family, church family and neighbors.

Somehow time management is a continual rebalancing, even in these supposedly simplified years. I love the projects I’ve said “Yes” to, and hope they actually help people somewhere along the way. So minor frustrations with balancing are just part of living. The different stages in life only look monolithic when we haven’t lived through them yet. It’s certainly always an adventure!

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub

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