I am not a golfer. At least not a good one. I’ve dabbled with it alittle and end up getting frustrated, embarrassed and eventually mad. My son does too – the mad part. He likes to wrap his golf club around trees or so I’ve heard. I’ve not witnessed this however he says it’s true and I’m ok with that temper of his when he golfs. It just means he’s passionate about the game and about excelling at it. I used to watch with such “momma” pride as he played baseball with that same amount of passion. From Tee Ball through high school he was passionate about whatever sport he did and his biggest critic was himself. That’s not such a bad thing.
This post isn’t about golfing though. It’s about the story of our journey through life. And it’s also about the realization that I’m not on the Front Nine anymore – I’m past the halfway point of my life journey and I’m on the Back Nine now. And I’m ok with that too.
I especially realize this today as it is my first day of retirement. WOW! I can’t believe it. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I am not working. That I’m not putting on my work clothes, work heels, and work personality and kissing my husband and dog goodbye every morning at 7:00 AM. I’m no longer missing 10-12 hours a day with them and my home and my life. I am ecstatic. I am psyched. I am filled with joy and there’s a silly smile on my face as wide as can be. The past few days I’ve been bursting out of my skin with happy anticipation as the last days of work fell behind me rolling into this unbelievable first day of retirement. I am filled with all sorts of plans, dreams, and joyful anticipation of the next amazing passage on my life’s journey.
I figured out the other day that I have worked since my daughter was 5 and my son was 2. Non-stop. With only 1 week off at a time, always coming back to a desk full of work and a load of problems to deal with, making my time off feel like it never happened. That has been 37 years of working. And it’s really not that I didn’t enjoy it – because I did. It defined me. It challenged me. It made me who I am and it provided well for me to achieve accomplishments and goals that I never believed could happen. And I woke up this morning not even sure what this is supposed to feel like – this not working stuff, but I am grateful and sinfully happy and ready to find out.
So, the Back Nine feels like it’s a good place to be and I’m not sad at all that I’m old enough to be here. The Front Nine went so fast and was filled with a higher sense of anxiousness to get over the course. It was also filled with sand pits and difficult challenges that felt rougher sometimes than it should because it tested our confidence and pushed us to the point of whacking our club at that challenge just to forget about it and move on. Because we are all passionate about our journey in life and emotional when it doesn’t go as we expect.
But, thankfully, by the time that we get to the Back Nine, the anxiousness is gone. The hurdles don’t feel as bad. The sandpits, we try to avoid and we just want to prolong it and enjoy each step along the way. It feels easier somehow, with less stress, less impatience, and more appreciation for the entire journey and watching the scenery of life along the way. The passion is still there, but the lessons learned in the Front Nine soften the impact of the challenges and our seasoned experience calms us. We are just grateful to be on the course.
The definition of retirement varies with each person.
I am old enough to be here. I’m at peace with that.
I am young enough to enjoy it. I’m happy about that.
I am grateful enough to appreciate it.
I am humble enough not to brag about it.
I am appreciative enough of it to not take it for granted.
I am gracious enough to accept where I am in my journey and I am thankful about that.
And Moonflower Bloom moments – well look out – I am finally here and we’re going to have some kind of fun now!