Last Friday night I was invited to a friend’s home – the guise of the invite being to share a glass of wine followed by some dessert to recognize my retirement. (Already it sounds like something of a ritual doesn’t it?) When I arrived I noted several cars so it was clear it was not just the two of us, especially since I pulled in at the same time as one of the other guests. Instead of the two of us it was a gathering of six – all of us women from my home church who have a history together. We did indeed have the wine – along with a lovely variety of accompaniments, followed some time later by dessert. It was a lovely evening.
Beyond this particular evening there was a lunch out with my pre-retirement boss on Saturday, on Sunday an outing to Marblehead with two good friends and a tour of the area, and this evening wine with neighbors. So I conclude the “ritual” part of transition is eating and drinking… Work for you??
At the Friday night gathering there were cards and some gifts as well – and it was there that the focus on “transition” took shape for me. One gift carried these words of wisdom for my retirement time:
Tortoises crawl about on red earth, going nowhere in plenty of time. This afternoon I met with the pastor of my home church and shared that I was going to enter in slowly, to the life of the church from which I have been largely absent for the past four years. I am a different person than four years ago, and the church is different too. I will in this instance, and likely others as well, take my time going…
One greeting card carried a plastic wallet sized card with this message –
Take time to Think – it is the source of power.
Take time to Play – it is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to Read – it is the fountain of wisdom.
Take time to Pray – it is the greatest power on earth.
Take time to Love and Be Loved – it is a God-given privilege.
Take time to Be Friendly – it is the road to happiness.
Take time to Laugh – it is the music of the soul.
Take time to Give – it is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to Work – it is the price of success.
Take time to Do Charity – it is the key to heaven.
Good words for all our days – whether transitioning from Monday to Tuesday, from high school to college, or from working life to retirement.
And finally there was a card that quoted an offering from John O’Donohue’s book, A Book of Blessings (which I happen to own), called “For a New Beginning” –
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening:
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
This last offering brings two quotations to mind, one from a good friend’s recent blog post which speaks the ultimate truth for all of us – “we simply know what we know when we know it” [This beginning…waiting until you were ready to emerge], and my battle cry/mantra for the balance of my life, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” [learn to find ease in risk], with thanks to Neale Donald Walsch.
Transition and ritual. Nice… Thanks for the idea KMM!