Well . . . it has happened. I am officially retired – or as I have been telling people – “I’m not retiring, I’m just changing activities.”
And that’s really what I am doing. I am not planning to wind down, reduce my effectiveness, or lessen my contributions to the world. I am just changing what I do in the process of creating value for others, respecting and honoring God and what He is doing in the world, and supplying meaning for my own life.
I admit to a mix of emotions as the end of my formal career arrived. There were some tears of sadness, some tears of joy, and sometimes, tears came just as a release of pent-up emotion due to all the change I was experiencing. We have worked, lived, and loved with extraordinary groups of people over these last sixteen years in Indiana.
At times, it was not easy to say good-bye. At other times, joy abounded as we realized that saying good-bye to possessions and activities was opening the door to new experiences and relationships. Our friends and associations will always be a part of us, and for that we are grateful, because we love them. But, I admit there is an excitement about jumping on the next train of life.
Speaking of trains, these past weeks it has felt like the train of my life has pulled into the station. I have ended my formal work life, have transitioned my successors into their new roles as the organization’s leaders, have prepared and worked with my staff to make the transition smoothly, have downsized our belongings, have made plans with our family to be together and assured them of our constant love and commitment, and have moved to a new town and different home. These have all taken planning, purposefulness, determination, and energy. Sometimes more energy than we thought we had, but we always awoke with what we needed for each new day.
And, now, we are disembarking this train of events, and grabbing our connecting train to our new life in Indiana, and Jaco, Costa Rica.
Part-time living overseas is really becoming more of a reality. I say more because we have already been living in Costa Rica part-time, but with the time freedom we now have, we can increase to MORE part-time. We will split our time about 50/50 between Indiana and Costa Rica, going back and forth a number of times during the year. We have five precious grandchildren in Indiana that we don’t want to live apart from all of the time!
This week, we fly to Costa Rica to begin our first 2+ month stay. We are so excited to be going with the knowledge that we won’t have to leave in a week or two.
Will it be a more relaxed pace? Yes.
Will it be in a setting of unparalleled beauty? Yes.
Will it be a chance to spend more time together as a couple? Yes.
Will there be a spiritual family with which to connect, worship, and support one another? Yes.
Will it offer opportunities to build upon an already healthy lifestyle? Yes.
Will there be chances to contribute to the community in meaningful ways? Yes.
Excuse me. I’ll need to continue another time. I hear the train conductor saying, “All aboard!”
We shall see you soon – when we get off the train in Jaco, Costa Rica!