Retiring, but never Retiring — an update on our plans — as I retire from face-to-face counselling
In This Moment
5 June turned out to be a significant day. As you’ll read below, I finally made up my mind to to retire. This has been in the offing since Darbella retired in 2011. Below, some thoughts about what’s happening now.
It’s interesting, how decisions have repercussions
Back in 2011, when Dar retired after 31 years of teaching, my line was, “I’m not done.” In November of 2011, we did our first long stay in Costa Rica, and thought we’d make a decision about what was next. Instead, we decided to play it by ear.
Back in Canada, we rented a house, and I slid back into counselling, Bodywork, and writing, releasing Find Your Perfect Partner in December of 2012, and The. Best. Relationship. Ever. in February of this year.
At the end of January, Darbella and I moved out of our (rented) house, and house-sat for friends until the end of March. We then left for Costa Rica.
We as always had a blast in Costa Rica.
We had the perfect place, in Sarchí, Costa Rica. Our casita overlooked our landlady’s coffee plantation, and the central valley was in the distance. Our little veranda was a comfortable place for drinking a bit of rum, smoking a cigar (me, not Dar,) and talking about life.
After several in depth conversations, I finally was able to say, “I’m done” with face-to-face counselling. And, apparently, done with having a home.
Thanks be for friends!
My last sessions with clients will occupy some afternoons in June. But here’s the repercussion part.
I got up this morning, to write this, and I thought, “What am I going to do with the website?” Or rather, websites?
I need to change the structure, at least, of the main one, to eliminate references to clients and face-to-face counselling. I need to link more directly to the other sites, and to think about promotingmy books.
What shall I write about on this blog… or even, should I keep it going?
I’ve decided that I’ve written enough books about therapy, life and Zen, but what about writing fiction? And, if we’re going to travel, can I still find time to paint? If so, where?
What this is really all about is creating a life that has meaning for me, without having the externals… clients, books… as markers for relevance.
I’ve been working since I was 14. I LOVE what I used to do!
Believe it or not, exiting the Ministry (read This Endless Moment for more) likely is making this transition easier. I’ve never really identified myself by what I do, although being “The Minister!” certainly had its appeal. Having some congregants love me one day and hate me the next certainly was an eye-opener. I learned to let it go.
It’s why I emphasize Zen… the idea of living in this moment, without the “dualities” of titles and external points of reference.
Still, not having a work-focus seems peculiar. Self-indulgent. I’m not sure it’s even allowed 😉
I’m only sort of kidding. Even as my client load has decreased this last year, I noticed I was focussing my attention there. What I do, trumping what I “be.”
And now, there is nothing but choice and doing as we choose to do. And as I wrote that, what popped into my head was self-indulgence. Hmm. This might be more interesting than I thought…
Anyway, here’s an outline of the next year
The rest is conjecture
September and October in Spain, then briefly home (a day or 2.) Our lovely niece Lisa has holidays the first week in November, and wants to hang out with us! So, back to Costa Rica. We’ll likely stay 2 months there, and then one month in Belize.
And then? Yet another evaluation, while hanging out in Canada for a bit.
We can afford to either travel (staying put in a small house when we get somewhere, doing our own cooking, etc.) or put down roots. We even think we might be able to afford a tiny apartment somewhere, and still travel. But we won’t know what works until we do it.
Which is the point of this blog, and the point of our lives.
You only know how things are and how they work by doing them. You can’t think anything through in advance of doing. Planning only goes so far.
I would like to hear from you all. I can’t decide about this blog. I can certainly keep writing as I have been, minus the input of endless new and amusing clients 😉 I have a small but loyal following — some of you have been reading this since it’s inception as an e‑zine in 1999.
On the other hand… who knows?
So, anyway, there’s an update for you. Do let me know what you think!