I was greatly encouraged by something Beth Moore said in my Bible study the other week, and it has stuck with me. To paraphrase (because I'm too lazy to go look it up), seek to do something good; don't worry about great, just something good.
As I've struggled with what qualifies as retirement from my job as a full-time, taxi-service, home school, ballet mom, I have been discovering that opportunities to do good abound, so I need not despair. I don't need a "calling," or a job, or a ministry. I just need to wake up every day ready to do good. And as I sit at the kitchen table with my pen and post-it note, ready to write my to-do list for the day, I find the list grows long, every day. So far, no day has gone by that did not have a full list.
This full list was actually a source of great irritation to me before this epiphany, because it represented a full day of distractions from that illusive greatness that surely must be waiting for me, if only I had the time to track it down. But then when I occasionally found myself alone in an evening with no pressing commitment, panic would set in as I was forced to face the void.
Nope, no greatness knocking at my door; no ministry, no calling, no job prospects, no business opportunity. Crickets. I would panic, and get very grumpy with God. He was supposed to reveal my long-awaited glory to the world now that I had time to develop it! Where are You, God???
Well, maybe He is hiding in my to-do list of "good" (not great) chores.
I have also realized that plain old, dogged cheerfulness is way under-rated. As I've pondered what I want my retirement years to look like, who I want to be for my children and future children-in-law and grandchildren, I believe that good, old-fashioned cheerfulness figures heavy in the equation. But not the fake stuff; only the real deal will do, and that comes from spending time with my Savior. Just sitting and basking in His love and His beauty. That's what I have more time for now that my kids don't need me so much. And that is the legacy I want to leave for them.
Lastly, and related to cheerfulness, I want to have energy and health to serve them and others, which means keeping my weight down and getting to the gym regularly. Not to go ninja and run marathons or anything; just to have the energy to help them with whatever they need down the line, whether that would be baby-sitting, making them food, doing holidays, helping them clean or move...whatever.
So, that's all I have to say on the subject. It's been a good crisis, and I thank you for allowing me to share it with you. But I have to run now. My to-do list of good is calling!