At the time it just seemed like an ordinary thing to do - you reach a stage in your life that everyone refers to as retirement. We had no idea what that would look like. Only a few days into this phase my husband, Tony, became instinctively aware that being a farmer was in-fact his life. "If this is retirement, it sucks!" He said.
The memory of that moment is still vivid. The look on his face was shrouded with doubt. Should I have retired? We felt a relief when the last of our pigs went off to market and yet an unexpected moment of grief had closed in on him.
We washed and cleaned the barn. It was spic and span!We looked around with pride at all that we had accomplished and we felt free. But the very next day we realized that our lives were anything but ordinary. The routine we were comfortable with was gone. No more early morning. No more set times. No more would Tony have to listen to me singing, "It's Just Another Manic Monday."
Monday mornings started at 4:00 am. Hogs needed to be loaded on a transport for market. The chance that everyone of them would willingly board the truck was wishful thinking. The times that we struggled, we remained calm. We worked well together.
Retiring unveiled a number of new directions in our lives with many forks in the road. More than we imagined. We moved a few times trying to find our desired location, searching for a place that would bring us closer to our church and volunteer commitments. We even experienced one of our closest friends abruptly remark, "can't you people ever get settled?" At first his words stung. But we knew that we didn't have to settle. God gave us many opportunities along the way. He opened doors for mission work and other volunteer opportunities. We don't have to stay in one spot.
We have the ability to travel, a longing to help people and we enjoy working together. We have no regrets about the decisions we have made over the past six years. There's a great big world out there! We don't always know what we'll do today, tomorrow or even next year. Our ordinary routine no longer exists.
Tony and I find joy in the things that our friends might not. That's what makes people different or even - extraordinary. Who knows we might even move again. We're always open to possibilities, challenges and new beginnings.