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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, August 10, 2007

Separation withdrawal: REAL retirement

Dear Gentlemen and gentlewomen- if you are out there and have a low tolerance for anything that could in any way relate to the mention of something which may associated only with women or any body parts, it's time to skip this entry over. Tune back in the future to an entry where I am writing in a poetic or perhaps universally humorous way to speak truths. I will get there, but this is not that day. Fear not, however, for I will not neglect you. Today I am in a graphic state of mind. For the fearless, read on. If you come up with a nod of recognition or an sympathetic ouch, then I have done my job correctly.

Alrighty then. The two of you left aren't going to blush on this one.....
I have never had a 'bikini wax' (not even in fantasy have I ever had the body to go through the procedure).... but I am finding retirement a psychic, emotional, spiritual bikini wax. Everything that was fixed and stable has been uprooted (pardon the pun). The income that was rolling in regularly stops- and you finally realize that it was tied to that thing you called "the job". It wasn't for your good looks, sense of humor or occasional innovative idea or the sheer joy of your presence. Your predictable days of over 28yrs (17 March 1979-31 July 2007) have vanished. No more driving into the city - first in a colleagues carpool, then driving myself the 50 mile round trip.

I left with work on my desk (in a neat pile, of course) still to be done, and a project which I could have been seminal in producing never even got started. I left many friends, more colleagues and a few relieved people in the front office. I left silently during a time when folks were on vacation. There was no hooplah. Tears were shed with friends, good will left with former opponents, loud silence from management who, never having been able to stop my questioning of motives or their result, were probably heaving a sigh of relief behind closed doors. There were bumpy years, for sure and certain.

That all being said, I am still strangely sore. That part of identity has been ripped or stripped away and the newly exposed skin is tender indeed. No more of those business cards or IDs or access to the complex. Other than bogus pleas for "investment opportunities" or unsolicited destitute women - with internet access! there are no cases of honest financial hardship I can address on behalf of the Pension Fund. My my prior expertise was useless. One of my longstanding purposes is gone. It also occured to me that one of the major motivations for retiring may have been more wishful thinking than reality and may never materialize. This brought me to a strong but brief jag of aching,acidic tears -not something I indulge in frequently.

The reality of my disassociation and the shrinking of my world of input seeped into my newly opened folicles yesterday and it was a chilling experience. God - with the most tasteful of twists of humor - is flashing back to me what I have even written a paper about: Living into being a human BEing, not a human DOing. Gotta hand it to you, pretty good one there, Wisdom Omnipotent! Humble pie for dessert,anyone?

The lack of income haad been expected, but now looks to string into November, straining my resources: if I need medical treatment or medication I have to pay full price and then get reimbursed at some level when my retiree insurance kicks in. Ever the survivor, I have taken on extra massage work (I bring my table, sheets, towels, oils, soothing music and my hot hands to the clients house and they receive a massage that is therapeutic because it is prayer centered). Lowe's, the home improvement store turned me down because they want everyone to be able to work weekends, and I could never promise THAT. I will walk and board dogs when I am home and give refresher courses on obedience.

I thank God to have been brought up to live a simple life and making do - not extravagant: other than the house and car, each of which I have paid dearly for, my 'classy' stuff were gifts, like my KitchenAid mixer. I don't turn on a light I don't need. Before I take my working vacation I will unplug or turn down anything I can. I buy generic. I reuse shopping bags and recycle plastic ones. Those are nearly inbred tendencies.

For now there is only IRS paperwork to be accomplished and 25 yards of topsoil/mulch to be spread in the backyard before embarking on a midwest vacation and physical pitching in time. I heard the rain would let up for tomorrow.

Then back to the east coast to work mostly weekends - either traveling with Barbara or doing a solo sermon or retreat, doing paperwork for the Geranium Farm and bringing my house back up to snuff for curbside appeal, attend to spiritual directees and work with Matt the Web Dude to make the entire Farm as user friendly as possible.

When I rethink that... rethink the push God has given me to take a different path in His name, in His service, I guess the waxing has its place, at least in my spiritual life if not at the bikini line (the hippos from 'Fantasia' come to mind). I haven't converted into a blob without form or worth. I am retired from the 'international corporate' world to be working in entreprenurial, clerical(office) and clerical (spiritually speaking)fields. It's just like when I was learning to stick shift on my first car (which had an "H" configuaration on the steering column! There was the occasional grind and growl of gears, but when things fell into place, the car went where it was supposed to!

OK kids, I have begun to regroup. Show me to the tanning booths - I've gone this far, might as well go the whole 10 yards (wearing a discreet one-piece, of course). Keep me in your prayers, my dears, as I will continue to keep all of you in mine. In the love of Christ, DJ


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