My paternal grandparents were not a significant part of my childhood. Grandmother (Margaret) died when I was very young. What I remember of Grandfather Bauer was his residing in a Boarding House. In its day it was a type of combined assisted living and "old folks home."
Retirement, "the act of leaving one's job, career, or occupation permanently, usually because of age," was not modeled by my grandparents. I was not ignorant of the concept. I remember hearing the expression, "I cannot wait until I reach retirement." Yet growing up with my father's occupation being farming, there was no set timeline to mark the end of his labors. Even into his seventies, he continued to work at a variety of income producing jobs. He eventually sold the farm and went to work in an assembly plant. He also bagged groceries and stocked shelves. My mother was heavily involved in church volunteering after she ended her career as a Registered Nurse. In his mid-nineties, my father continues to reside in his own home. He is fairly mobile, independent, has hobbies, keeps up on current affairs, and provides for his dietary needs. He does not earn income, but appears financially stable. My parents provided some modeling, but they were not the traditional "now I am retired" people.
|Dad with dark glasses|
3 Generations at his home
So, I have limited familial role models of retirement. I have seen aging along with a variety of activities. I have yet to find a common theme or path other than simply the passing of time. I am officially too old for AARP to send invitations to their group. I am still young enough to receive calls regarding extended warranties for my vehicle. Overall this concept of retirement is more illusive than ever.
The popular quote, "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life," resonates on many levels of my life. An aspect of pastoral care which I cherish is flexibility. From walking dikes and tossing sandbags, to driving harvesting equipment, to hiking experiences with youth in the Rocky Mountains, and being a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician my career has been diverse and fulfilling. There are facets of the vocation which cause chafing. As another pastor said, "I like being a pastor if it wasn't for the people." Overall the people are honest, caring, and supportive. Even the bad times are nothing in comparison to the college job of using hot asphalt to seal flat roofs!
|Sunset - Is that retirement?|
|Maybe retirement is not pretty?|
I invite comments, perspectives, and sharing about any aspect of retirement. It is through the collective sharing where insight is gained. Is there an ultimate definition and structure to retirement? Please, share your thoughts, observations, and wisdom. You can do so on the comment section of the page.