On the 36th day of my retirement, I took an hour this morning to just sit and think. I’ve not slept late one day since I retired at the end of March, and I’ve usually worked at least twelve hours a day on something or another. If you have communicated with me, you have undoubtedly heard me say that I’m busier than I’ve ever been. When I’m asked how I like retirement, I smile broadly and say “I love it, and I recommend it highly!” I do recommend it highly, but I don’t recommend you chase each hour of the day as if it’s your last as I have done. It has taken 36 days to realize that though my intentions are good, I do not need to do it all now.
It has never been in my nature to seek what we call “balance” in our lives. I’ve always said that my balance comes during that space in time when I complete the current goals and determine the new goals, but that’s just my way of justifying the fact that I have never sought balance in my life. I’ve always had a lot of energy and could not wait to get up in the morning and get moving. That is still the case, yet, somehow I feel as if the pace I’m keeping now is so punishing that I must not feel as if I deserve to rest.
Today, though I won’t stop moving toward my goals, I will look for those quiet moments when I can just be.
I understand intellectually that I’ll do what I do better with rest. Yet, I keep hearing my grandmother saying, “Child never stop; always keep busy. Do something even if it means nailing a nail in the wall and pulling it out.” I learned that lesson and I keep nailing nails in the wall and pulling them out, and I get a lot of satisfaction from my accomplishments.
Now I think it’s time to create my own tape and delete the message from Mama Bennie. My wish for you, friends and colleagues, is that you succeed at finding balance as soon as possible.