The holidays are a blurry memory already. A new school term has begun. The 2008 calendar is already showing signs of wear as appointments have been entered throughout nearly every month’s page. The next several seasons’ goods are stacked on retailers’ shelves (Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, and spring gardening). The only thing that has provided a bit of respite in the pace of life for me has been a cold virus. Now that I’m older and not employed full time, I am, hopefully, a bit wiser and have the luxury of being able to actually rest and indulge in some self-care while in the throes of a cold instead of simply pushing on through it. As today was a cold and rainy day, my husband joined me in staying in and resting. We had a quiet, enjoyable time in one another’s company. And, while it was nice for the day or even several days in my current condition, I don’t think I’m quite ready for the retirement routine that would make such days the norm.
Since the stock market (and our retirement funds) have taken decidedly downward turns in the New Year, too, it’s likely that such thoughts of retirement will have to come much later rather than sooner.
Those of us who have been through a Crown Financial Ministry course will recall that the Bible is silent on the matter of retirement. In the first century lifespans and lifestyles did not lend themselves to the notion of retirement. Increasingly, it seems to me that lifespans and lifestyles in the twenty first century do not, either! Many people who retire at the traditional age of 65 will now live 20 years with no income! Unless they’ve saved well, inherited nicely, or raised children to care for them financially, most of them will find that their financial resources will likely end before they do. Thankfully, job markets are more and more amenable to “seasoned” employees.
I don’t know what the years ahead hold for me. I’m in the process of re-equipping for different work and have been encouraged to believe that work will be waiting for me when I’m done. In my first career as a medical technologist, even though I found I disliked the work, I felt I had to continue in it for a while to justify the investment in my education. So I worked in it five years, then turned and walked away to another career. I hope I get considerably more than five years out of this round of education. Certainly I am going into it with a clearer understanding of what I’ll be doing. Job satisfaction is not the issue this time. It’s a matter of whether my health and strength or potential obligations to others might disrupt my mid-life career choice.
I do feel I’ve been led to this change in work by God and, as such, believe that I will have to trust Him in the matter of how long He will choose to keep me in it. So, I will keep my eyes on the calendar only for the immediate days ahead and let God tend the pages further ahead.