Friday, January 31, 2014

Living in the Present

It has been three weeks into what has felt like retirement and I am still doing very well.  There is that word "still" again.  Are you "still" working?  Are you "still" living in that big house?  Are you "still" playing church softball, golfing, etc.?   It is a  word that comes up at our age too often.

This morning while cleaning drawers, I found an old journal that contained some painful memories and they didn't hurt like they once did.  I added one last page entry (two years later) that I am really liking retirement and am living each day as the present--not a lot of unhealthy or obsessive thinking about the past or the future.

Then I wrote that each day IS a present and it has been.  I have been given the gift of enough sleep--and for me that is a real gift.  I awake each day with a list of things to do but almost nothing is essential.   I wonder if the day will feel boring or lonely and so far, it has not been like that at all.

 I thought retirement would be the time to read longer (700 pages plus) and more demanding books, but both The Goldfinch and Middlemarch will be returned to the library unread.  My friend Beth told me that both were worth reading and yet I find that I don't have that kind of energy or persistence right now and that is OK!

 I have tried to set a goal of doing something for someone else each day and that makes me feel as if my day is not all about me.  Sometimes it has been just writing an email to our missionaries, the DeVuysts,  in a very dangerous Ukraine,  or a posting on Mr. Vander Lugt's  obituary site or mailing a postcard to Jim's mom.  These are easy things for me to do.

I've tried to sit quietly for a bit each day, but I am not good at "meditation."  It was easier last summer when I could sit outside and look at the trees and hear the birds sing outside.  I have found a spot upstairs where I can look outside at the bare branches against the sky and that is a good place for me to try to listen and pray.

I hope and pray this attitude can continue and that I can thank God for the gift of each day.

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