It is hard for me to believe it has been only 9 months since my life took a sharp turn and channeled me into a fast moving stream of retirement (abundance and enjoyment). They say if the gold ring comes by be prepared to grab it. This time I did and what a ride I have been on.
Some of you have heard this story so I’ll make it as short as I can. Three years ago (April 2011), I was trying to figure out how to create a life where I could retire, afford the horses and share their gifts with others. I felt ready to step out of my 30 plus year career as an Agricultural Engineer, although lucrative and intellectually stimulating, it was no longer meeting my emotional needs. I wanted to share with others, the understanding and acceptance I received, while in the company of the herd. How, I did not know, but the “Wayfinding Herd” of mares that surrounded me, must have heard me.
Fast reverse, three years ago, I attended a TBAH demo at the Ohio Equine Affair, signed up July 2011, became certified in the EGC Method in 2013 and started Wayfinding With Horses while still employed, thus leading me into the beginning statement.
Nine months ago my husband and I made a spontaneous trip to check on our property (10 aces and trailer) in Ocala, the horse capital of Florida. We were having a wonderful trip, even though he had recently had surgery and heart problems and I knew in my heart that I needed to spend more time with him. Four more years of engineering work was the plan. I was preparing for wholeness retirement where finances, health, home, emotional and spiritual needs would be valued and in place for our sacred years together. Little did I know, the universe was conspiring for us to do just that, but not in 4 years? We checked on our property, decided it was not where we wanted to build, bid on a fixer-upper farm (the land and home called to me and said it would share my wayfinding vision) and by Jan 15, accepted the counter offer. On Jan. 31, 2014, the beginning of the year of the horse, we listed our Pa. farm (during the winter vortex or winter from hell) and accepted a contract on the Pa. farm Feb. 9 (my birthday). I informed work I was retiring earlier than expected, moved (with the help of friends) to Florida the first of April (horses, dogs, tractors, trailers and household items) and retired as a engineer the end of April. I am empowered and renewed, capable and inspired and now re-directing my energies to Wayfinding Farm where as a Creative Life Coach I am fully employed by the herd. Together we can help others navigate their way towards passion, purpose and play, feel whole and renewed and develop meaningful partnerships, just as the horses have helped me wayfind mine.
So now I come to the title of this article R.E.T.I.R.E. After moving to Florida, we needed to change our address, licenses, etc. and every one would ask what we did for a living. I soon realized, when I told them I was retired I experienced a weird phenomena. Clerks would raise their voice an octave, speak very slow and loud and point to the words on the paper I was filling out. It seemed they assumed I could no longer hear, see or think. But if I told them I changed professions or careers, the question would be “Oh, what do you do now?” I could not figure out why they responded to the word retire or retirement so weirdly, so I looked up synonyms for retirement. Words provided were superannuation, sequestration (seizure, convulsion, spasm, confiscation), departure (exodus, exit)… hmm I did not know that was what I did when I retired. So looked up retire – it said – withdraw (revoke, disavow (recant, leave)), recede (retrocede, ebb (abate, fail, fade, diminish (weaken, shrink, disappear))) or go to bed. That is not what I had in mind either, so I looked up tire (thinking the “re” met to do it again so to get tired again), tire – exhaust, drain, enervate and weary; that surely explained why they raised their voices when speaking to me. Ok, none of these words described what I was now doing with my life. Then someone said to me, oh you must be of “age” during one of our “retirement” discussions. I knew in China and Native American cultures, age invokes words such as wisdom, grounded, elder, confidence, sage, learned, experienced, sagacious (knowledgeable, astute) or intelligent. But here in the US- you guessed it! In our throw out society “age” seems to mean – era, old-ancient, hoary (stale (decayed (putrefied), rotten, spoiled), fusty), oldness, stink, worn out, overused, mature, ripe (pungent, sour, disposed and mellow).
OK – TIME OUT. I have re-purposed my life. I have not putrefied. It is time for the term retirement to either be renamed as re-purposed. Another way to say retire is to say “I have changed careers or professions”. Or… let’s embrace the word retire and explain what it really stands for is this. I created an acronym that, for me, accurately describes the word retire. RETIRE stands for that time in our lives when we choose to Repurpose Empower Transform Inspire, Renew and Energize. Now that is much better, don’t you think?
PS- RETIREment is one of my new niches (thanks to BB, Paula and the horses) and I will have my first event this Labor Day and the workshops on RETIREment Wholeness and Change and Grow (or grow moldy) are to be scheduled.RETIRE stands for that time in our lives when we can Repurpose. Empower. Transform. Inspire. Renew. and Energize. I now feel better about the word RETIRE and hope to share my new perspective with others.