Retiring, but never Retiring

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.

retiring but never retiring
Word Play! I finally decided that travelling and writing was what I want to do now, so yesterday I wrote a brief “retirement letter” to my current clients.

It’s interesting, how decisions have repercussions

The pose of reflection

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.

veranda thinking
On the veranda, reflecting

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?

See? Repercussions

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!

waves of change
The waves of change seem large!

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!

wayne and darbella
With love from Wayne and Darbella

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

10 thoughts on “Retiring, but never Retiring”

  1. Like Connie, I too find that messages in my inbox announcing one of your blogs is something I really look forward to, and typically read right away, then re-read more slowly again later to digest further. I have shared many of your insights with the group I meet with as well. You have been a HUGE part of my journey the past few years, thanks.

    It seems to me that clients only sometimes form the basis for what you write, and just as often chance encounters and travel seem to inspire your writing. I hope that you will continue to write, but not feel obligated to a pre-retirement rigid “time schedule.” I have a feeling you will still come across lots of things to write about.

    Why not just play it by ear and write when you feel the urge? I hope the site will remain up for us to re-read your older posts for now. And in the meantime, when inspiration strikes, “If you write it, they will come.”

    All the best, Wayne,

    • I’m thankful for your thoughtful comment. Thinking I will keep writing weekly until we head off again, and then perhaps ease back a bit. I do enjoy the writing, and the contact from readers.
      Trusting all is well for you.

  2. Wayne, Of all the short works I read on the internet, yours is the one I am excited to see in my inbox. I read your articles very frequently to a group that gathers at my home once a month. So, hearing you say you may not write your blog any longer makes me feel wistful or a version of sad, as though I am going to lose touch with a close friend. I wish you all the best and will adjust (guess I will have to!) if you no longer have the blog. I just wanted you to know that you certainly impact the lives of others, though that does not have to be a reason to continue something. But feedback can be nice sometimes. Best to you both.

    • Hi Connie,
      Thanks for the warm and kind words. I’m enjoying hearing that you find my articles helpful.
      I’m still considering, but do enjoy writing, so am leaning toward keeping something going… perhaps slightly less often…
      in the mean time, enjoying the travelling.
      Warmly, Wayne

  3. Wayne, I resonate with this, it’s where I’d ‘like to be’, but have not made the leap from roots to travel. I believe you can incorporate your blogs into one blog. Your insights are just that — insights — and they don’t have to be specific to a blog — they are specific to you. And no matter where you are or what you are doing you will write and impart your wisdom and those of us who love to read your musings will continue to do so in whatever form you choose to present them. I love your insights and I will love them just as much, if not more, when they don’t involve your face to face clients. So from me to you — Wise on Wayne … Cheers!

    • Hi Wendy,
      I’m liking the idea of getting things condensed down… 8 blogs / sites is a lot! And there’s something to be said for no client stories, as that fits better with the vast majority of my readers. For now, I’ll keep this going!!
      Warmly, Wayne

  4. Wayne,
    I, too, will miss your words of wisdom if you decide to retire from this blog. However, you have always been an example of doing what you say and inspiring us to let go and get going! I wish you the best in whatever your endeavors and look forward to updates on your journeys.

  5. Wayne,
    I have been reading your posts for many, many years. If you decide to no longer do this, I will miss it dearly but be very happy for you as you transition to whatever comes next. In my humble opinion, there is nothing like travel to really let your soul sing and clear the traditional blocks of routine.… I will continue to look forward to anything that you do share and I wish you and Dar health and joy wherever you hang your hats. You have reminded me many many times of whats important in life and for that, I am grateful!!

    All the best to you both!

    • Hi Sally,
      Thanks for you kind words. I really don’t seem to be able to decide, so I’ll write a bit more. I’m enjoying the process of not knowing!

      Warmly, Wayne


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