In recent days two of my friends have checked up on me because they have not heard from me and I have not published any new blogs. They were concerned about my well being. I now realize that it has been almost three weeks since I have written on this blog.
Let me assure everyone who cares about me that I am alive and well. My lack of writing is actually an indication of calmness in my life. Looking back over the last few months most of my blogs were me venting over my daily existential angst as I transitioned from a busy working life to a life of relative leisure in retirement.
What have I been doing?
One or two days a week I have breakfast or lunch with friends. A couple of weeks ago I had a particularly enjoyable lunch with two monks from the Abbey of Gethsemani. I have known these brothers for many years. When I was a very young novice in the monastery they were also part of the community. One of them actually interviewed me when I first applied to be accepted into the monastery. Earlier this week I had coffee with another friend I have not seen in quite a while. We first met in the early 80′s when we worked together in ministry at a local parish.
When needed I take care of household chores like grocery shopping or cooking.
I am also taking what I call Zen walks in the park three or four days a week. These walks are enjoyable for me and I believe I have even lost a few pounds.
This week I attended the third class of a philosophy class entitled “Integral Spirituality”. It is basically an overview of the thinking of Ken Wilber and his book A Brief History Of Everything. I find the reading assignments challenging due to the density and style of the writing but the lectures from the Passionist priest teaching the class are very enjoyable and easily understood.
When I am not sharing a meal with friends, going to class, or walking in the park, I practice mindfulness meditation twice a day, I read from the pile of books on my table, and I occasionally take a nap. After a few months of struggle adjusting to retirement I now have a comfortable routine and sometimes I even feel a little busy.
This week, sadly, has been a little tough. My wife’s best friend and workday “lunch buddy” died only six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 51 years old and leaves behind a wife and two college age sons. His funeral is in the morning.
I knew if I kept trying my retirement would work out and everything would be fine.
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