Are the Rumors True that I’m Retiring?

I’ve bitten the bullet (while I still have my teeth) and am taking the leap (while I still can leap) into the next phase of my life (which is getting shorter by the day)!  

judy's journal
judy’s journal

My office lease is up this February 2015 and coincides with my (gulp) 70th birthday.  

I have wrestled with whether to sign a new lease, rent space from another clinician, buy a van to set up a Therapist-on-the-Go practice (kidding), move to the South of France (sorta kidding) or fade into memory . . .  I will close my office along with my 69th year (no kidding).

Being a psychotherapist has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve done in my life. I’ve been blessed to have had thousands (yup, count ’em thousands) of people profoundly touch my life.  Therapy is a two-way street.  I’ve learned and grown along with my clients.  Their pain, hopes, struggles and faith have helped inform my choices, strengthen my faith and deepen my belief in human courage, resiliency  and ability to learn & change.

It is almost inconceivable to me that I will be 70 years old and have been “practicing” psychotherapy for 30 years.  It is hard to admit that in the last several years I have less physical energy and resiliency.  But it’s true.  (I like to blame my declining energy on fibromyalgia more than aging  because fibromyalgia should be good for SOMETHING).

As I take the leap I will try not to lose my grip on the cord of these words that I do my darndest to tether me in my life:

  • “Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.  (THIS is a hard one!!)
  • Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.
  • Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.
  • Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.  (GOTTA WORK on this – my speech isn’t always guarded as my friends can attest)
  • Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. 
  • Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression.
  • Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.
  • Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.
  • Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
  • Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.”  (A TALL ORDER for us humans – one “leap” at a time).

(The Baha’i World Faith, Baha’u’llah)

I’ll keep you “posted” (on this blog) where I land.  

Say a prayer that I land on my feet and not my head . . .

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 Post: I Have 17 Years and 4 Months to Live 

19 thoughts on “Are the Rumors True that I’m Retiring?

  1. There is NOT a single doubt in my jumbled mine that you, my friend, will land on your feet and keep walking. It isn’t the speed, it’s the adventure. Don’t you know that 70 is the new 50? or 40? Pick a number. I don’t really care about age, you are my beloved peachy keen no matter what number you choose. After you retire, you will have more time to amuse peachy keen junior who will come to california with danny or without, (we talked about it yesterday!) on the vacation we never had.
    Something to look forward for all of us. One day at a time, don’t think ahead, think in your head. All my love, Laurie and Lexi

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    1. Hibernation Laurie,
      You are my Peachy having such faith and confidence in me!
      However,
      Trust me the 70’s are NOT the new 50’s and not even close to 40’s . . . unless you have money and long legs like Jane Fonda, have bone structure like Sophia Loren or the bounce of Tina Turner. How do I know? Cuz my 60’s were not the new 50’s or even close to the 40’s! The older I get the more my body talks and the more my mind listens.

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  2. My sister just retired…at 55! she is having a ball with her grand children. Having a less stressful life.
    I guess I’m retired. haha I haven’t worked in years. Being disabled is a lot like being retired I’d think…you don’t work…you have to find a way to reinvent yourself. Some days, yeah I’m bored, only because my brain wants my body to do more than it can. Most days I stay pretty busy for me. I write…as you know. I create. I work on little projects (I don’t think you will have a problem with that.)

    Days really aren’t all that long.
    I often feel like I have way too much to do! haha

    Take the time to do things for you. Slow down. And simply love your life!!

    You deserve to just be happy what ever you do!

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    1. Wendy,
      You are so right, it doesn’t matter what we call it – retirement, not working, disabled, poor, rich, tall or short – we are all reinventing ourselves in some way every day of our life.
      with love,
      j
      P.S. I have come to believe that my quest for happiness is propelled by images from books, movies, tv and commericals! I’m currently striving for “content”!

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  3. Thank you so much for making my life and Adele’s life and my kids life so much fuller. I can’t tell you how much you’ve helped make me A better man. God bless you, and I wish you a long and prosperous retirement!

    Love, Bryan Green

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  4. I wish you the best in your new adventures, and hope there are many, including south of France:) You have so many talents, of which writing, art, comedy are just starters. I have watched you sailing into new waters through your blog.
    You are much loved. xo
    Ida

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  5. Judy.. You will land dancing and laughing..wherever you will because that is what you will do.. I know you will fill your time sketching..writing…inspiring and being all that for others what you have written.. Because you don’t know any other way.. and why should you know.. because happiness and joy is what is going to make you have all the fun.. Wow..Would be a kind of a dream come true if I am able to visit USA Judy and meet-up with you sometime.. God willing..Can’t see it happening in near future..yet one never knows.. My fingers are crossed.. Here’s wishing you all the best.. RS:)

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    1. Ramesh,
      Your undying confidence in me sustains my expectation – perhaps EXCEPT for the dancing part – I have no rhythm in my feet, only my soul!
      Come visit. I’ve always wanted to see India and these past few years I’ve seen the best part of India through your eyes.

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  6. I was “retired” from my day job in 2008 when the bank closed our municipal funding unit and suddenly found myself “over qualified” for the I’d been doing for over 15 years. So, I decided to make a “day job” out of my training and love of theatre and haven’t looked back. I suspect you’ll do the same. You’ll find a love of something, perhaps long buried and you’ll do just fine. I too will turn 70 next year. I consider it a milestone to be celebrated. Sort of like new sprinting blocks to push off from for the next journey.

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    1. Blessings on whatever path you choose to follow. I chose to reinvent myself when I retired. Like you I find I lack the ability to do all I wish. I don’t have the staying power I once did. But life is good and I will do what I can while I can. I see you doing the same when you retire.

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  7. As one who’s been there……..(yes, Fibro has to be good for something)…..how will you fill your days? It’s a good thing to slow….you deserve it. All I can say is that I get bored. bored. bored. Redefining one’s self is tough. Will you do it part time? Online? I only ask these questions because the idea was wonderful (and needed) but the reality is a little bit different. There are days that I hate why I stopped and days I understand fully. It’s those fuzzy days that are toughest. xoxo

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  8. Congratulations Judy-Judith!

    Nothing like a routine lease-expiring decision to make one contemplate “What’s next?”

    Both of my sisters, and both within the last couple of years, have had a business decision inspire a total life change. One had a comparable “Aha!” moment a couple years ago when her huge (and expensive) kitchen design showroom lease was coming up for another renewal. After 25+ years designing high-end custom kitchens, the lease renewal decision was what it took to “make the leap” – and to start a 3-year training course as a professional chef. Her family was gobsmacked by this move (she was always a good cook but had never expressed even a whisper of wanting to be a chef!) She’s now in the final semester of her college course, graduating soon, and lining up her winter’s chef job in a luxury fly-in ski lodge in the Rockies. Her ultimate semi-retirement plan: work seasonally in ski or fishing lodges around our beautiful province, spend the rest of the year traveling, hiking, spending more time with family and friends.

    Meanwhile, our younger sister (in her late 50s) woke up one morning and decided to open a flower shop! Went to night school for Floral Design training while continuing to work full-time, then snagged a part-time second job learning the ropes with a local florist, until one day she walked past the perfect vacant retail storefront in a hip and historic downtown block. She’s now a full-time florist there and loving every minute of her new life. And it IS a new life: along this journey, she also dumped her long-time hubby, left her home in the suburbs, and found a charming little heritage apartment within walking distance of her new shop that she’s now having fun renovating. She has never been happier!

    Both sisters agree that although they loved their previous lives (neither had left their old careers because they had stopped loving the work), the timing just seemed to be right for closing one door and opening a brand new one.

    I, on the other hand, am having fun living (quietly but vicariously) through their ongoing adventures.

    Cheers and best of luck to you in YOUR new adventures!

    C.

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  9. Wrestling usually involves many positions and situations, including landing on one’s head, arms, shoulders, knees, hands, back and eventually back on the feet! You’ll land just fine!!!

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  10. I found this post very interesting because I am wrestling with thoughts of retiring. I still love my job and my staff keep telling me that I can’t retire. The reality is that I qualified for retirement almost 3 years ago. What to do?

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Wadda ya say? Comments HERE! (Depending on energy, I may not be able to respond to every comment but I READ every word of every comment!)

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