Thursday, 1 May 2014

Retirement: Day One

Haven't tried any "retirement" thing yet and can't identify how I feel. There were some emotions close to the surface every now and then during the services last Sunday. There was a sense of, what? emptiness, I suppose, as I left the sanctuary and again as I left my cleaned-out office at the end of the day. The cliché would be, "I can't believe the day has arrived and it's really happening."

Leaving this job is not like leaving jobs before I was ordained. I wasn't a part of people's lives then. Oh, there were friends, but this is like leaving family. I've shared joys and sorrows, life and death with these people. Heart to heart.

I've dotted as many i's and crossed as many t's as I could think of needing dotting and crossing. Did some last minute visits. My neatly labelled keys are handed in. A very capable team now have the watch. What's done is done, what is not, is not. Let it be.

I've told many people that all of this reminds me of how I felt when I was finishing high school (except for the old age and death thing). I remember a sense of openness into the future and not being sure what would happen when. It felt good, but a little anti-climactic. So does this, so far.

I now have several piles of things to be sorted and stored here at home. A clothes hanger full of stoles, some files I need to go through—not many, I was pretty ruthless at the church—some pictures looking for new walls and knick-knacks looking for places to belong. This retired cleric has arrived to stay, too. I look forward to coming alongside Jude in the home she has made so warm and well for us.