Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Where Retirement Hits the Road

People ask, "How are you adjusting to retirement?"  We've all heard the jokes of men at loose ends and wives at wit's end.  The struggle is real! This is the expected norm - and that happens when you retire in a community you've lived in for years, with the same circle of friends and activities to help occupy your time.  We were prepared for adjustment.

What happens when you lose your community, your friends and your church at the same time as retirement?  It's military retirement - and it's rough.

Consider you had a plan to start a second career months after "retirement," and were diagnosed with a condition which throws serious monkey wrenches into your  plan....now you are NOT going to Japan, you are NOT traveling around and seeing America until doors open for Japan, you are NOT traveling anywhere. You are sitting for 5 months, 15 miles from the home you lived in before retirement, on the base where you invested your LIFE - and you're totally disconnected. People aren't sure how to relate to you, you don't want to be the old curmudgeonly retired pastor...so you sit at fam camp.

Gyres - science is serious business

We are seeing our way to the other side and now, I'll admit, it's been rough. I love my husband. He loves me. BUT, we've had adjustments. We've made these adjustments with significant stress, and little community support.  It's rough.

Wives - imagine your husband is now in 268.5 SF with you, watching everything you do, with very little to occupy his time - other than thinking about a degenerative neurological diagnosis which you'd both rather forget. It's rough.

Homeschooling moms - imagine your husband was now able to watch your methods, hear every lesson, every text book....and imagine he disagreed with history texts and found many mistakes in the science book....imagine. Michael has always the brainy one in our partnership. I was defensive and learned where I was insecure. It was rough.
Learning about thermal layers in the ocean 

A Parkinson moment - the water was getting shaken too much so Stacia took over

Husbands - imagine you can't escape to work and that glaring error in the history book must be addressed, though you know your wife will  melt-down.   Imagine trying to find your family niche - when you've thought you knew it for the past 30 years.  Life changes. It's rough.

We've come through.  A big help has been a wonderful, local body of believers. Meeting with them gives some normalcy to our abnormalcy. Knowing Pastor Rob is faithfully praying for Michael's healing and for us to figure out what to do now that we're grown up, is a big help.

As the principal of our academy I assigned Michael teaching tasks....and bit my lips when he was rougher than I would be, or didn't assign what I thought should be assigned. Even here, we've adjusted. I do the science reading, Michael does the experiments - and corrects the mistakes in the text.  He has also taken over assigning and correcting writing assignments.
Learning effect of water pressure on human lungs
Imagine you're a child in this new life. You expected to be traveling and moving to Japan....

We've all adjusted. We love  more family time. It was common for Michael to put in 60-80 hours a week - week in and week out. We love having him around. We're learning how to give each other space. We're learning how to move ahead with Parkinson's. Michael is finding tasks to fill his day. We're learning to forge a new family dynamic....and we're looking forward to traveling.

I think it's been good for us to be here in our fam camp bubble....we've learned to depend on God and each other in new ways. We've learned to talk to our souls, to strengthen OURSELVES in the Lord, to surrender in new ways.

God is good. He has a plan. He's preparing us for that plan. We are content in the wait. He's working in the wait.

I hope this isn't depressing. It's real. Maybe it will help another facing retirement or feeling like they are struggling through these types of things alone. We get it. We've been there.

We're walking this out in new ways.....Singing Over Me

When I waited so long, when my tears were my song
with my hope nearly gone You held me God
To believe in the face of the dry, weary place
When you felt far away You held me God

Oh, there is freedom in surrender, oh I know it

Your songs have never stopped
You've been singing, always singing over me
Your words are still enough
And You're' singing, always singing over me

The chaos in the cause teaching me to see Lord
the beauty in the storm so I believe
When I see through Your eyes through the testing of time
Every cloud silver lined 'cause You're with me

Oh, there is freedom in surrender, oh I know it

Your songs have never stopped
You've been singing, always singing over me
Your words are still enough
And You're' singing, always singing over me

Give me faith 
Give me strength enough to wait
To stand in faith
and listen, for listen for your melody

 Your songs have never stopped
Your songs have never stopped

Your songs have never stopped
You've been singing, always singing over me
Your words are still enough
And You're' singing, always singing over me (2x)

My 2016 word is Surrender - and it's good. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

beautiful song.

We do understand the hardness of dreams changed to which we have to adjust.

that is why we have been praying for you all a lot.

We will keep praying and PTL for the church you now attend and for friends both new and old in the area.

all our love and all our prayers. --- dad/mom t