Wow. It appears that I have some fascination with the letter, ‘r.’ For some reason, as I sit on the balcony of this 8th-floor condo at my proclaimed, “Happy Place,” I’m having great memories of this week and events leading up to it. I’m thinking of so many things, many of which are relative to this new chapter in my life. As I relax and watch the beauty of God’s marvelous creation of the ocean, the skies, the wind, and the subtleness of the air after a stormy morning, a bunch of ‘r’ words start popping in my head. I’m trying so hard to continue soaking in the blessing of this moment, but the nudge won’t go away. So as a previous post titled, The ‘R’ Factor spoke warmly to my apparent love of this particular letter of the alphabet, here it goes again…..
R!!! Retirement, rest, reflection, rewind, rejuvenation, rejoice, rolling, ripples, religion, right, reason, resonate, rationale, reward, restlessness, risk—all of these words flow so easily in thought, and onto this keyboard. There’s no particular advance rhyme or reason for any of them, but as a rapper freestyles, hear these impromptu thoughts of my heart….
After only a few days of settling into a retirement date of October 1st, a birthday follows. There was so much excitement and change with venturing into this new chapter of my life, that I had no formal plans with friends for my birthday this year. I was in a mode of basically ‘doing me’ with no expectations of anyone feeling obligated to participate. I’ve been so blessed with wonderful friends, and we try to celebrate with each other somehow every year, but I made plans for me only, and basically shared that, “This is what I’m doing, but if you want to come, that’s fine….” Well, the weekend turned into a Friday night blast with seven of us and it was truly epic! Lol!! Then, on Saturday afternoon, my love, my best part of me, my definition of beauty to its core, my lovely daughter, threw her mom a surprise Birthday/Retirement party at one of my favorite spots. Without detail, it was more than I ever could have imagined! Today, nearly a week later, I still get teary-eyed thinking of how….well more importantly, why she chose to celebrate me. Love that girl so much!! She is a special delivery of a great blessing from the Creator, no doubt! This beach trip was pre-planned to sort of cap off the birthday weekend and to be my super cost-effective retirement trip. It is here, in Myrtle Beach, where I sit at 5:55 in the evening, with these random ‘r’ thoughts….
Yes, I am now officially retired. The party seemed to be an exclamation point and there is a different feeling of acceptance that now exists. So, in today’s relaxed mode, as I watch the tides roll in and the waves rippling to the shore, I’m reflecting. I’m reflecting on working since I was an early teen, and how it lead to almost 30 years of state service. As I rewind these thoughts, there are so many people who have been an integral part of this journey. I’ve made friends that I can’t imagine living without! I’m contemplating the rest that is associated with this initial phase of being a retiree. Although I plan to work somewhere next year, there are risks that need to be taken to start/continue new business ventures. I’m reminded of the strong faith that I have in God to see these ideas through. I know that leaving some old things behind will be the rejuvenation that I need to move forward and to keep going. Wow, I’m praying as I type that I take the right approach in everything that I do. I have to reach out to God for guidance to make good decisions, as I always try to do. I’m remembering that I haven’t always followed the rules—did that professionally, but certainly haven’t always done so in my personal life! Continuing to strengthen my relationship with my Lord and Savior ensures that I keep improving, and not reel backward. In doing so, I have to be forever cognizant of religious practices that have no influence on remedying broken relationships with folk or solidifying the most important relationships that anyone could have—with yourself and with God! I’m thinking of purpose; I’m thinking that it is the reason for my being on this earth; I’m thinking that it is ultimately what God has me here to do; I’m thinking that I need to remain committed to that cause and not let anyone or anything allow me to falter. No other rationale is necessary to do this—it’s who we are and it should resonate with all of us at some point in our lives. I’m aware that restlessness enters the picture as we matriculate through the happenings of each day, however, we must keep our eyes on the prize and prepare ourselves for the reward—the real one, the right one, the royal one!
As I close and glance out again over the beautiful ocean, I’m not even sure if every ‘r’ word that entered my spirit is included in the freestyle. 😉 What I am aware of, is that God is so incredible! I’m grateful that He allows me to function in purpose. I’m blessed to have this platform to share my heart, to have people who are willing and ready to read or listen, and I thank Him! I am rounding up these thoughts with this….
No matter where we’ve been, no matter where we are or where we’re headed, Jesus is the Reason for it all. I pray that this thought is the one that rests so sweetly and so well with your spirit and mine.
Peace and Blessings,