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The Rest

I struggled for sometime with the concept of being retired, so to speak. I reflected on the concept. The etymological roots of retire come through the French–retirer–which connects with the idea of shoot, throw, and draw. It means to re-shoot or start over again which has a much different meaning than I had applied before. I am starting over, but with much support and it is a good place to be. It is good to begin this part of the journey without reservation which is the way I am fashioning retire today.

Lawrence Rabb wrote of waiting because we are too young and not doing because we are too old. My current concept of retire looks at the possibility that lies ahead.

You’ve tried the rest,

You’ve waited long enough.

Everything catches up with you.

And you’re too old,

or too young.

Or you don’t have the money

or you don’t have the time.

Maybe you’re shy, and maybe

you’re just afraid.

How often have you heard it,

have you promised

yourself you’d try

something really different

if you had a chance?

Though you can’t help but wonder

if all those people

know what they’re doing, now

you’re saying it with them:

Eventually everything

catches up with us,

and it starts to show.

We’ve waited all our lives, or as long

as we can remember, whichever

is long enough.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

22 responses »

  1. Love it! Great stuff! I should copy and read it once a week. Thanks.

  2. As I teeter on the threshold I have felt nervous about this whole retirement business. Thanks for a different perspective, to start over. I’ve never not worked since high school. I have loosely formed ideas of what I’ll be doing, nothing scripted…and that scares me a bit. But I so look forward to it. In five (5) weeks!

  3. I was forced to retired for health reasons. There aren’t enough hours in a day. I have lots to do. I have friends who are bored and went back to work. So as your points out it’s different for everyone.

  4. I appreciate a new understanding of the word ‘retire’. And I too struggled a bit with what this stage was supposed to be. And though I still consult I view this time as a valedictory – my children are awesome, my husband is thriving and I have the opportunity to see how I am evolving. Thank you Ivon.

  5. how about jubilante…

  6. Retire is a word worth abandoning, rather a word like renewal.

  7. It’s funny how similar my concept of retirement is and has been for quite a while. I’ve never been able to see myself in a rocking chair just resting and observing the ways of the world (although that’s useful at times too) but starting something I always wanted to do. It’s a happy place to be and I jumped into it very early.

  8. Retired, ‘RIGHT’ as you now know that retirement is in the eyes of the beholder. When we first retired people often asked “what do we do with our life now, must be boring?”
    One cannot believe where the time goes, I believe that sometimes I am busier now then when I was at so called working?
    I worked at heating and cooling up north but still cannot believe this fallacy about retirement?

  9. The meaning of the word is definitely undergoing a transformation. I am now hearing about ‘transitional retirement’ where people just work less and take more trips etc., almost as a practice for the real thing which may or may not ever happen.

  10. This was very nice choice to reblog and share with us!


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