Retirement is a Fulltime Job

indexYou “get” a job.
You’re “trained” for a career.
You’re “passionate” about your profession.

Opening for One Retired Person, full-time.

Experience: Are you kidding. We want lots of experiences. Decades of experience that have proven your worth.

Responsibilities: Since you now have all this time on your hands, it is time to share your hands as a volunteer. If you are unable to volunteer for one event, one time then please tear up this application, find a corner in your room and kindly wait for the good Lord to take you. This may take many years since you are in good health but trust me, volunteering for one event will not harm, injure nor kill you.

If you volunteer for more than one event then you will find a new swing in your step, a brightened attitude and planned events to look forward to. (But that is only about you; volunteering also helps those whose hands you have now become.)

You must have a story to tell. It doesn’t matter how old the story is, just always have one handy. Dates do not matter, please. If it was 1940 or 1941 during the fall or spring season of either, we really don’t care – just please make the point of your story.

Recognize your future – we realize that your future is what is before you right now. Grab it, hold it, cherish it and most of all, savor it. Because this moment is the now that you swore you would honor once you retired. Well, it’s finally here so take a second look at that budding flower, spend a little more time with a good friend and please don’t arrive 30 minutes early for an event. (You’re not late, you’re just much too early!)

Please don’t minimize the present culture as decaying with no future ahead of itself. You are really talking about yourself more than the supposedly decaying culture. Culture will continue in time, without you. The hope that you’ve nurtured and fostered over your many years needs to be same hope that you nurture and foster in the generation that will follow you. It’s the least that you can do before you go.

If you see a green banana, please do not think that it belongs to you. As aging people, green bananas may have more time than you have. Take the yellow one, peel it, eat and enjoy it as soon as possible.

If a sign says, “free,” that does not always mean “me” even though it rhymes. “Free” anything looks funny when you’re apartment is cleaned after your passing only to find scores and scores of “free” stuff that you’ve never used because the predicted nuclear attack did not occur.

Pray: Pray for us who remain in this earthly journey. Pray that we don’t make the same mistakes as you did but have learned from yours to improve our always divided and broken world. Please don’t pray for your “poor souls” because your souls are already sanctified by the Cross. After all, isn’t yours “The Greatest Generation!” Instead pray for us, pray for your children’s fulfillment and the fulfillment of your grandchildren. They are your legacy. And if you have neither, then please pray for your neighbors children and their children because their future relies solely on your past.

Waking and Sleeping. When you wake up in the morning simply say, “Thanks be to God.” Before you fall asleep at night simply say, “Not my will but Yours be done.” That way you’ve got yourself covered in both gratitude to God and yielding to God’s will. (Catholics have this thing about dying in their sleep, as though that’s a bad thing!)

Lifting: Very important in the retirement years. Your responsibilities here entails lifting the many burdens from others’ shoulders. You do this by listening, smiling and then powerfully saying, “It’s alright. It’s o.k.” Feel free to lift as heavy a burden as you are able from someone else’s shoulders but please don’t forget your own. It gets heavy enough walking through life with your own weight in addition to the weight of whatever grudge, sin or misfortune you continue to bear.

Benefits: You are the oldest person on the planet, we get that. Please don’t surround yourself with folks at least one year than younger and than razz them about young they are.

The risks of this benefit is that your age becomes the focus of every thought and conversation. We already know your age, you do not need to refer to it in aged stories or old friends. Just enjoy the ripeness of the age you thought you’d never reach.

New friends: You are able to replenish your friends. We know that so many of your friends have gone but there’s a new person over there who may like to meet you.

Salary: It’s not negotiable. It’s life – here and now. Take it or leave it. (As though you have a choice.) Life insurance is not necessary since…

Investment Possibilities: Endless and Wholly. Endless because this life only leads to another life and wholly because this life demands your body, mind and soul.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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