Saturday, September 8, 2012
What, Me Retire?
The actual writing was a little over a year, but my thoughts and feelings—validated through friends and family—took 11 years to stew.
I can't cook (never cooked a decent dish in my life!), but I had watched my mother-in-law do it and stewing seems best in describing the process I went through to put this book together.
In the Author's Note, I wrote:
“I am glad I didn't have to write this book 12 years ago when I was angry, believing I was a dead duck and my life was ruined. Now I see it all clearly, and can confront workplace retirement with levity and humor.
“To read this book, then, prepare to smile and laugh with me.”
All the stories, words, and anecdotes had to be slowly simmered and boiled with reflection and immersion in all things new: experiences, friends, attitudes, points-of-view, the passing of years, ministries, schedules, and trials—until they were all, uh, tender, and ready-to-serve.
The story of my own sudden exit from the corporate world 12 years ago was bottled up inside of me, left untold till one day, OMF Literature asked me to write about retirement—the exact time when the gravy had been sifted of bitterness (a lumpy feeling that shuts out grace).
“What, Me Retire?” is the son or daughter of so many titles suggested by dear friends who were my colleagues in the ad agency where I worked for years. By creatively crafting titles for the book, they opened my mind to their insight on retirement.
Worded differently (crazily, dramatically, hilariously, facetiously—name it), all the titles summed up retirement as: embracing the second half of life, the one that comes after you thought you have already given your all and have lost your grip and grit.
Some of these friends did one better—they helped me “write” the book by sharing with me their own stories and wisdom.
“What, Me Retire?” is for those in that stage of life where the paid workforce is no longer the best place to be, or for those who have suddenly left it due to force of circumstances, or for those who have been out of it a few years but have not quite found the pot of happiness.
Young readers are invited to have a bite, too. You who are living with retirees and are confused why things are the way they are. This might make you better understand that retiring (vegetating!) need not be a choice.
Bolting out of the workplace was probably the best non-decision I ever made.
“We are out of the workplace and have completed the first half of our lives, but we are buoyed by a second wind to give meaning to our remaining wonder years, pausing now and then to appreciate the gift of time and the grace it brings.”
“What, Me Retire?” is finally ready to be served at SMX, MOA (OMF Lit Booth, Aisle K) from Sept. 12-16.