Aging Doesn’t Mean Quitting

Faubion             FriendMePage


I  remember a fellow who went to the same church I did. When he reached retirement age, he retired—not just from his day job—but from everything. Even singing in the choir.

The funny thing is—to this day—I can still picture him and the unhappy scowl he wore for the rest of the time I knew him. Giving up his previous activities may have given him loads of free time, but it didn’t make him happy.

My situation is just the opposite. I retired from work because I wanted to write full-time. While I monitor my outside activities to keep from being overwhelmed and not have enough writing time, I’m well aware of the importance of balance.

And balance for most people at retirement probably means continuing to do at least some of the things they’ve always done.

I recently received an invitation to review a new book from a fellow named John Faubion (picture at the top of this post). He’s a couple of years older than me and retired after spending  thirty years as a Christian missionary in Southeast Asia.

But you know what? When John retired, he didn’t retire. He wrote a novel.

Writing a first novel is a HUGE undertaking, but he didn’t let his age or lack of prior experience hold him back. His suspense novel, Friend Me, releases in early February, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

He admits that the prospect of following up with a  second novel is a daunting one. But he’s ready to try. Ready and anxious.

Why couldn’t that poor man who quit everything including the church choir have turned retirement into a time of fulfillment the way John and I have done?

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Best regards,
Roger

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About Gracelessness

brokenBarrier

I promised to use my second post to explain my use of the word “gracelessly” in my blog name. I do my best to keep my promises.

At first, I thought explaining “gracelessly” would be simple. I write “quirky inspirational fiction.” So why not have a blog that simply sounds, uh, quirky? After all, most people probably expect to see the word “gracefully” after “on aging.” I would, anyhow. But I thought “gracelessly” might really grab people’s attention.

There’s more to it than that, though.

Let me clear up one thing before I go any further. I’m not using grace in the Christian sense of “Amazing Grace,” which refers to “God’s undeserved favor—getting good things we don’t deserve from a loving God.” As opposed to God’s mercy, “Not getting the punishment we deserve from a righteous God.”

Instead, I’m using the word in the sense of “clumsily.”

I think that fits nicely. None of us has ever aged beyond where we are in life right now. So moving ahead necessarily leads us to a humongous amount of the unknown. Even when we pay close attention to people who’re even older than we are, our paths will not be identical to theirs. We have no guarantee that everything will work out the same way for us. Or anything, for that matter.

The process of aging involves a number of mishaps. There’s no way to avoid them.

I rely on God’s strength and guidance each step of the way. Uh, except for those too-many times I try doing things on my own. That’s when I’m most apt to fall down or bring other problems on myself–while trying to scoot around a barrier, for example. God doesn’t seem to believe in providing a solution until I encounter a problem. If I’m not paying attention to Him, the results may be more disastrous than they need to be.

My wife and I have a year-old miniature dachshund, Happy. We trust her in the living room, the kitchen, the master bedroom, and the bathroom. We do NOT trust her to go down the hallway towards the other two bedrooms. Especially the one I use as my music room, with dozens of cables going this way and that. If she pulled one out, I might never figure out where it came from.

So I placed a thin piece of wood across the open doorway leading to that part of the house. Happy doesn’t like it, especially when she knows one of us is somewhere on the other side of the barrier. But we’re thankful it does what it’s supposed to do: keep her out of mischief.

We know the barrier is there, and it’s almost short enough to step over safely every time. Sliding it to the side to step through and then sliding it back into place is a nuisance.

But I’m a graceless fellow, and when I’m not careful—sometimes even when I am—I end up kicking the barrier when I climb over it. Last night I unwittingly broke it into the two pieces you see in the picture at this top of this post.

As a member of the human race, I’ll keep aging until I die. Even though I can anticipate certain barriers between now and eternity, I’m not necessarily prepared to deal with them in the best possible way—the “graceful” way.

So, many of my blog posts will speak of things related to aging that make me feel graceless because of my inability to deal with them as easily as I might have done when I was younger. Or if I was paying adequate attention to God’s loving lead.

I’ll try to make you smile in the process. Nobody wants to listen to an older adult gripe. I sure don’t.

If you like this blog, please subscribe to receive my two weekly posts by email. I hope you’ll leave comments. I’d love to have a good discussion here rather than feel like a teacher standing in front of a classroom of students who are bored to tears.

Best regards,
Roger