A Personal Note: Retirement


Only five months into retirement, I am no expert on the subject.  In fact, when you only do something once, you are bound to make mistakes.  Metaphorically, the pavement ended.  I was moving into very unfamiliar territory.  Other people have traveled there, but it was all strange to me.


When Sally, Julie and I moved into our new home about ten years ago, we bought four Rubber Maid storage units, tall cabinets where you keep fertilizer, tools, Christmas ornaments, etc.  It took me three hours to assemble the first one, two and a half hours to assemble the second one, only 20 minutes to assemble the third, and 15 minutes to assemble the fourth.  That’s a steep learning curve!


Nobody in my organization called me in five years or two years before retirement and said, “Here is what you can expect.  Start planning now.”  I was the boss.  I was on my own.  I asked lots of people lots of questions, and received very few answers.


Chipper Jones, the great Atlanta Braves third baseman, retired about the same time I did.  He will go into the baseball Hall of Fame.  He played Major League Baseball for 19 years.  Of course, he had been playing ball for ten or twelve years before that as a child and then as a teenager. 


The Braves retired his number.  Chipper was quoted as saying, “I was done.” 


I understand that.  By the time I reached my 66th birthday, I was done.  I had been earning an income for over 50 years.  I want to continue to contribute to the world we live in, but I was ready for a transition.  Chipper feels that a year away from baseball will help him “rekindle the flame.”  I understand.  Flames die down, naturally.  After some nostalgia on Opening Day, he said, “I woke up the next morning and was thrilled that I didn’t have to go to the ballpark.”


I have just written the sum total of all Chipper Jones and I probably have in common.  But he nailed it for me when he described his retirement.


Like Chipper, I had one of the best jobs in the world these past 15 years.  Chipper was paid to play baseball.  I was paid to initiate worthwhile projects with people who valued ideals such as freedom, integrity, grace, faith, courage, compassion, hope.  It was, you could say, a heavenly job.  I loved what I did.


Now, however, I am glad to be retired.  The pavement ended.  That’s okay with me.  I like narrow paths in the woods.


Categories: Baseball, Faith/Spirituality, Family, Health, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “A Personal Note: Retirement

  1. rogerlovette

    I like the pictures. I like the thoughts. You are on your way–Roger

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Marion, Pansy and I both retired 13 years ago, she from public school and I from Anderson University (actually Anderson College at the time). She retired to concentrate on upgrading the interior of our house. I had no such specific task in mind, but I felt it was time to “hang it up.” A few weeks after I told my division head that I was retiring, second thoughts poked their way in. What would I do with my time? I put out some feelers for a part-time job or a bi-voke pastorate. I wasn’t going to teach part-time. If I were tied down to “clock in” two or three days a week on adjunct pay, I’d just stay on full time with full time pay. Anyway, long story short, it didn’t take me long to realize I could enjoy retirement: writing, doing the radio SS class from FBC, going to the Y, traveling. So, by the time I went to the 2000 graduation, “What am I going to do?” was a memory. I’m sure you are enjoying being out where the pavement ended.

  3. Earl Herndon

    I enjoy your blogs. Only problem I had retiring after 40 years was I no longer had Fridays to anticipate the week end. The week consisted of six Saturdays and Sunday. Sunday was different as that was church time. Good luck and keep writing. Earl Herndon

  4. Clyde

    I didn’t retire “cold turkey” like most people do. I retired from the hospital as a chaplain in ’06 and stayed on one or two days a week another seven years as a Mental Health Counselor. This past February I said “goodbye” for good. I also retired from my volunteer work as chaplain with the Columbia Police Department. However, I still do pastoral care to retired police officers and widows of our police officers. That involves visits and calls every two or three weeks. Maybe some of us who recently retired (past 10 years or so) could get together for breakfast and sharing every three or four months. Your thoughts on that?
    Clyde Waters

  5. Doug Ward

    Thanks Marion. We have to come up with a very different word than “retire…”

    • I have heard other people suggest the same thing. Re-tool? I am doing some of that. Re-tread? I don’t like that. There are some people writing on the last third or the last quarter of life, and that puts a different spin on it, whether you are working or not. I am okay with the word “retire.” It has been an enormous transition from heavy responsibility to almost no responsibility. I still have a life. I read. I write. I go to church. I have a family that I spend time with. I enjoy my friends. I walk. I travel. Not sure what to call my new life, but it is new. It ain’t the same.

      • Steve Long

        How about recasting instead of retiring?

  6. Earle Robinson

    Another opportunity from God for His glory. And I know you will use the moment

  7. George M. Rossi

    The Baby Boomers (1946-64) have begun retiring in big numbers. The 1946 group is now 67 years old and probably receiving social security based on their earnings from the decades before. I really wonder who will be taking care of the group (I was born in ’63)? I really think there will be a huge increase in the service industries to that segment of the population and I believe there is a need for “consultants” to help the people in that group to navigate the tricky road to “transitioning” to a life with probably less money per week and increasing health care needs/bills. I am not surprised to hear that you did not get much feedback about your questions on retirement. So, there seems to be a market out there and a demand for “retirement consultants.” I know that I am interested in making good decisions today that will be a help for me and my family when I retire. I enjoyed the blog topic of “retirement” today and the pictures.

  8. Maybe “retirement consultant” can be your retirement job. Or semi job. Or leisure activity where you may or may not get paid. (Great pictures, by the way)

  9. Brent Walker

    looks like a good deal Marion! Blessings!

  10. Gail

    Remember the ages of Moses and Noah when they started making a name for themselves by following the bidding of the Lord. Will, you are much younger then they. What does that say to you?

  11. Samuel VERHAEGHE


    We pray Gods blessings upon you and the family.

    Thank you for the years of service and friendship.

    Your Belgian Friends,

    Revd. Samuel VERHAEGHE.

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