In a few days I will be closing my practice. When I began thinking about retirement I was so torn. Is this really what I want to do, because it will be final. It’s not like quitting a job at Dillard’s and deciding next year that I want to go back. Re-starting a practice at my age probably wouldn’t be feasible. So I took a long time to decide, and I told my partners a year in advance. I wanted to give them time to find another partner if they wanted, and I also wanted to give myself time to change my mind. But as the days grow short, I am so comfortable with my decision. I find myself thinking of all kinds of things I want to do, and being lazy is near the top. At least for a few weeks.
I’ve been so blessed to have a career that gives so much back to me. I think back to when I started this venture. I was in my forties and it seemed impossible. I had only one year of college, and that happened in the Dark Ages. I remember driving up to the TCC South campus (it was TJC then), afraid to walk in to the admissions office. Would they make me do algebra on the spot? Would I have to use a computer (we were still in the DOS era)? But I still remember why I did it. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. The sweet words and messages I have been receiving the last few weeks assure me that in some small way I have.
So now I am starting down a road I’ve never been before. Retirement. I see the possibility of both good things and not-so-good things ahead. The good things include leisure time, travel, and the luxury of not having to be somewhere (Lord, please guard me from filling up all my days). But there may be some unpleasant days ahead also. I see it in the lives of my friends and acquaintances, my fellow Baby Boomers. Even though we intellectually knew it, I don’t think any of us really expected to get old. Yet here we are.
In my quiet time this morning I was reminded of a favorite scripture:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
I notice that “paths” is plural. That suggests I have multiple paths ahead. I hope so. I know that time and circumstances will make my paths fewer and more narrow. But I want to do all that is in my power to explore all that God has for me in this next chapter. And I still want to make a difference in the lives of others.