9/08/2012

What, Me Retire?

This book took 12 years to write. 

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. 

13 comments:

The Dragon Scribe said...

My dad is a veteran mentor who's been in education for 49 years... next year he'll celebrate his 50th... and this will make a great gift

Grace D. Chong said...

Oh, 50 years in education?! That's something to celebrate! He's molded many minds in all those years! Hats off to your dad. It will be an honor if you give him this book as a gift.

The Dragon Scribe said...

I would also like to give this to my past mentors who have already folded their uniforms in their closets and are now in their party clothes, enjoying the beauty of life in their most luxurious years. I can even imagine myself 567 years from now, reading this while eating fruit salad in the beach.

Grace D. Chong said...

I am sure your past mentors can identify with the book. I must have interviewed over 3 dozen seniors!

You will have to wait a long time before you read this book on the beach with your fruit salad (which, by then, should be avoided because of high sugar!). ;D

Ryan Rotor said...

hs ms. G, see you on the launch of your new book. =D

Grace D. Chong said...

See you, Ryan!

Vie Velasco said...

Shocks, Ms Grace! I'm almost "done" reading this book! Hindi ko mabitawan--hanggang LRT nagbabasa ako!

Grace D. Chong said...

Thank you for this review, Vie! Very encouraging, Indeed. I don't remember getting a friend request on FB from you. Sorry about that. I tried to look for your wall just now but couldn't find it. Would you mind making the request again? I promise to accept immediately.

Vie Lising-Velasco said...

Hi Ms. Grace! I already sent the friend request. You can find me po at FB: Vie Lising-Velasco I finished reading the book! I'm still far from retiring pero hindi po ako natakot basahin ang book. For me, it's time to face reality. Your book is straightforward but full of humor.
Isaiah 66:2 “Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.” (NIV)God has been glorified in your book. Praise God!

Robert Ryan Brana said...

My parent now retired from their works.This is the best christmas gift i will given to them.

Robert Ryan Brana said...

I will buy this book this vchristmas gift to my parents.They are now retired.

Grace D. Chong said...

Hello Vie, Praise God indeed!

Grace D. Chong said...

Dear Robert Ryan,

I hope your parents enjoy reading the book as much as I did in writing it!