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Beware Retirement

02 Jun

Glynn Young’s insightful blog post “Poetry At Work: The Poetry of Retirement” reminded me of when I went through some of the same things he and any new retiree faces—wondering who I would be now, what activities would my life consist of, would I find new purpose and direction?

The poem below came out of that experience. I think I wrote it for a friend, though I don’t believe I ever sent it to her. But I’m sharing it here today. My message to all of you at that stage of life… (Click on the player below to hear me read it.)

 

BEWARE RETIREMENT

I had been drooling about retirement
watching the months crawl by as I
X’d off days like a kid
waiting for Christmas or summer
dreamed of sleeping in, lunch at 3:00
watching all the late movies
time-oblivious as on a holiday
only this one perpetual.

It was a honeymoon at first
as I lay around with books all day
ate out or from the fridge
whim and indulgence my companions
even dusting, laundry, dishes
an imposition.

Then came my life’s day after Labor Day
when everyone was rushing off importantly
in new clothes, their backpacks heavy
with long pencils, empty notebooks
hope and the future.
I missed the challenge of learning,
growing, being stretched, being needed,
making a contribution,
doing something significant.
I wanted familiar rhythms back
the uphill of Monday
the plod of Wednesday
the ecstasy of Friday
and feeling so bone-weary I’d earned my nap.

So I applied for a new job.
Got a new boss.
She began to write me lists.
Not only did I need to do today’s work
but catch up on all the work I’d missed.

Now I hate Mondays again,
jump off the bus on Fridays
like a kid released from school.
Trouble is, this time
there’s no relief in sight
no retiring, now that I’m already retired
and my new boss is me.

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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5 Comments

Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Personal

 

Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “Beware Retirement

  1. kiwiskan

    June 2, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Yes. I have discovered that retirement is a myth…

    Like

     
  2. bakrawiec

    September 7, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Count myself as one of those unknown friends for whom you wrote your “so-true!” poem. God bless you! Now you know: you absolutely sent it! Thank you!

    Like

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      September 7, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Thank you! I think retirement ambivalence is quite common. It takes a while for things to settle out. Hope you’re enjoying your retirement. 😉

      Like

       
      • bakrawiec

        September 7, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        Yes! Ambivalence. Day 7 of retirement and the ambivalence you so aptly identified continues…Thanks for sharing and caring. Outreach by those who have “been there/done that” (and are still there/doing that) really helps! God bless you. Thanks!

        Like

         

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