Retirement is a funny phenomenon. I reached 62 at the end of last year and we decided I should go ahead and start receiving Social Security. So, I signed up for it and began getting my checks a few months ago. I cannot begin to tell you how surreal it was to look at our bank statement and to see my very first check deposited into our checking account. How did that happen?! How have I become so...old? Believe me, it isn't much because my husband and I decided years ago that I'd be a stay-at-home mom for our kids and, it ended up, half the neighborhood. We have never regretted that choice. But outside of working seven years for the Portland Public Schools I would make a little extra money here and there cleaning houses, doing a little day care...little jobs with little income that had little influence on how much I'd get in my Golden Oldie Years. Oh well.
I love quotes. Bible quotes. Famous people quotes. Funny quotes. Thought-provoking quotes. I have a favorite website devoted to quotes and I glean most of those that I use from that site. I was looking at it this morning under "Retirement" to see what I could use for my post title. They're not very encouraging. Mostly about living on less...much less...and the boredom that comes from suddenly transitioning from being so busy all the time to wondering what in the world you're going to do with the endless hours of inactivity stretching out in front of you. This title caught my eye because outside of suggesting playing rounds and rounds of golf...it was the only one that encouraged me to do something with that time. Volunteer. Give away your time. Go to your nearest elementary school and volunteer there...the staff will love you for it, and so will the kids. I do that during the school year at my youngest grandson's school, and I'm known as Mrs. Cooper's Grandma to the little first graders I tutor to help them learn to read. I volunteer at the Book Fair twice a year. I'm going to sign up to volunteer at a hospice here in the city where I live. You're giving of yourself...your talents...your strengths. It keeps your mind active and healthy. It keeps you in contact with people. It gives you friendships. It gives you a sense of purpose and a sense of usefulness. A blessing is also there because you're doing unto others.
I don't want to wither away. I don't want to sit here collecting dust. I want to continue to be a productive part of society. I want to contribute.
I want to matter.