Monday, August 20, 2012

Reflections on Retirement After 20 Years - Part One


Twenty years ago (1992), I took an early retirement option that was offered to Washington state employees. It was a decision bathed in God’s peace. Given my own decision making skills and deep love for my career, I’d still be sitting at the desk in my elementary classroom wondering if this teacher should or shouldn’t close up her lesson plan books after 27 years. The reality in question was a 9 year battle (at that time) with vestibular dysfunction (constant dizziness and flare ups of internal vertigo). That condition still exists. God’s peace to retire in 1992 is one place I often return when the longing for that career gets strong.

The option came quickly - April of that year. The transitioning to the new held many questions. After all was packed up and moved out, goodbyes and hugs given and received, I headed to the Oregon coast that summer to ponder my life. I have returned to the same spot this year and am writing this blog entry as I do some reflecting post these twenty years that seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye. 

In 1992, my Mom (Maggie) helped me to load up my car for the journey to the coast. At that time, she lived in a different unit in the same apartment complex where I live.

This year, I slipped my laptop computer into the lovely leather satchel that she had given me as a retirement gift. She knew I was going to pursue writing in my retirement years. I would be easing out of focused curriculum writing for my school district and, at times, for the state of Washington, to concentrate on inspirational writing. Whenever I carry the satchel, I carry her with me and her hopes for the fulfillment of my writing goals.

In 1992, I could not look at a computer screen without spinning out into a vertigo attack. 
In 2000, I was given a used computer by my step-sister, Nina and her husband, Glenn. Cautiously, seconds by seconds, minutes by minutes, over months, God helped me to desensitize to the triggers the flickering screen and visual tracking can bring. It took me spinning out and landing on the floor a few times, but together we got there! I now can work at a computer as long as the screen is small, and I am careful not to overdo.

Post 1992, as my Mom began to have health problems, I was near to help without my teaching career challenging me to divide my attention. I was with her in 2001 when she died from complications after a massive stroke.

This year as I drove south for my time at the ocean, a place that my Mom loved with a passion, I was thinking of the amazing sunsets that she, as an accomplished artist, painted. I believe that God has put her in charge of touching up the sunset skies when He wants to really show off!  I put in my order for some beauties while I am here in Oregon. Sure enough, my first night, this one appeared.


August 19, 2012 - Yachats, Oregon


Because I unpacked my computer, pulling it out of the lovely leather satchel that still holds my my mother’s love, I was able to import the photo to the computer for me to see and for you to enjoy! 

This is just the beginning of a week where I will be reflecting, resting, thanking God for so much that has happened during these twenty years - both the good and the challenging. 

The ocean waters ebb and flow. Each sunrise is the promise of a new day full of possibilities. Each sunset is its ending when we can give thanks for the gift of one more day. If you should find a sunset brightening your eventide, you can thank God and Maggie! 

19 comments:

  1. My dearest friend,

    Your blogged once again have touched me. I felt your troubles and at the same time felt your hope and strength that made you who you are. You are a gift to everyone. Your gentleness and positive attitude is contagious. Thank you!

    Violeta

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    1. Thank you, Violets for your kind comments!

      Your friendship, new within these past few years, is one of the blessings I count during these retirement years of mine. How good our Lord is to have helped us find each other. We have shared many an adventure and deep moments from our hearts. I look forward to more of both in the days to come.

      Much Love to you! :)
      Lynn

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    2. Violets, lavender, ah - Violeta - you know I meant to type your name correctly! Yes, one aspect of retirement is these ole eyes not being what they used to be!

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  2. What a beautifully worded message you have given to each of us, Lynn. I certainly was able to feel your emotions and grasp the significance of your very personal revelations to us. Thank you for sharing your heart. Praise the Lord that you are able to enjoy the computer and to not only save, but also share, this absolutely stunning photograph of an Oregon coast sunset! God bless the rest of your week!
    Please feel free to post here anytime, every day of your trip, if you choose!
    I would love it! Thank you!

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    1. Carol, it is my joy to share from my heart. It is the best place to bring forth the realities - both the hard and the beautiful as together they build a life, piece by piece.

      Thank you for your blessings and hopes for the rest of my time here on the Oregon coast. I do hope to post some more reflections but I cannot promise it will be every day - but there will be "more"!

      Love,
      Lynn

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  3. Teresa Kaas AndolfiAugust 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Miss Severance,

    I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying your retirement years. As my youngest daughter is starting kindergarten this year, I am hopeful that she will have wonderful teachers in her life that help guide and mold her to be a strong young woman. You will forever be in the hearts of many of your past students.

    All the best,
    Teresa Kaas Andolfi

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    1. Teresa - what a joy to have you stop by esp. since you were an important part of my teaching years - a most important part bringing much joy!

      I pray that your children will have amazing teachers along their years who reinforce all that you and your husband have instilled in them.

      You remain ever close.
      Love,
      Lynn / Miss S. :)

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  4. Thank you, Lynn for sharing a glimpse of your life--both blessing and challenges.

    I too, retired from teaching this year for health reasons and I love the ocean re-freshing my soul.

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    1. It is my joy to share, Connie. Thank you for stopping by to read what I shared.

      I do remember your telling me that you hope to keep your hands in teaching there where you have been for so many years even though you are now retired. May that be an added bonus to your retirement time as I know it will be much appreciated by those who "get you back"!

      With care,
      Lynn

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  5. LYNN;..I WILL PUT THIS WAY LYNN,I THANK GOD FOR ALLOWING YOU TO BE MY FRIEND.THOMAS...I LIKE YOUR WEB SITE.I TOOK NOTICE AFTER I FB YOU! LOL

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    1. Thomas, I saw your wonderful comment on FB and I am so happy you found my blog here. I hope you will visit often - well, I do not post every day or even every week but as you can.

      I try and put a notice on my FB page with an entry and there is a box above where you can sign up with your email address to receive notices in your inbox. That can be iffy as some friends have said they do not get the notices but it is worth a try.

      God bless you, special friend!
      Lynn

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  6. Dear Lynn,
    Thanks for sharing your journey and the gifts it has brought - beautifully written, beautiful sunset. Your heart comes through and it blesses. Have a fabulous week!

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  7. Lori - so good to have you here to share in my story and bless me with your comments.

    I do plan on a good week. As I type this I can hear the ocean waves soothing me, a good sign of more to come.

    Thanks for your friendship and care!
    Love,
    Lynn

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  8. I am so blessed to read your reflections, Lynn. You have such a faith-filled attitude. I thank God for the peace he has given you through your decisions.

    I also love reading about your love for your mom. What a precious reminder to have the satchel with you. And the sunsets!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa - I have been blessed with God's peace in the midst of many a storm.
      Satchels and Sunsets! That sounds like a good title for a devotional!

      I am glad you stopped by.

      Love you -
      Lynn

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  9. I am so new at this blog thing and so glad you are my first connection. The women I have met through Rest Ministries and PICI and several other websites have ministered so personally to my own heart and spiritual growth, thatI feel the Lord is asking me to share His precious Words, to others whom I may be able to help, by blogging what He tells me. He and I are starting out on a new adventure. God bless you for traveling this path ahead of me and looking back. Love the insights you share.

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  10. Lola - I still feel new at blogging so let's walk hand in hand! It remains a huge leap in faith for me. I don't blog every day. Many do. I wait until I feel the Lord has something He wants me to share. I say that only to convey it as a wish for you that you do not put any pressure on yourself to sprint for a marathon! I am more like the turtle, slowly moving along this path.

    I know that you have much to share with others, words the Lord will give you to enrich hearts, the treasures that have emerged from your own times in trials and darkness. Treasures of joys in your life, as well.

    When we bring the treasures into the light, they shine for Him!

    Do let me know when you begin as I will want to be able to visit your blog.

    Love,
    Lynn

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  11. Lynn,

    I could not read without tearing up, emotional as I am, so let's see if I can comment without tears! What beautiful writing you have speaking through a beautiful spirit. I am just getting to know you after all this time but I am so glad that God has blessed me by allowing our paths to cross. I look forward to hearing much more from you, my friend!

    In His light and love,
    Shelby

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    1. Dear Shelby - there were a few tears on this end during my week of reflecting. Good tears, cleansing tears, tears of joy and also at times, tears acknowledging loss. Life.

      I, too, am grateful our paths not only crossed but we are standing on the same road now as we get acquainted. I feel most blessed!
      Love,
      Lynn

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