Sunday, July 31, 2016

This is retirement....

I've been 'retired' since April of 2010. I retired when I had 30 years in the Church Pension Fund (one reason to consider being an Episcopal priest that has nothing to do with spirituality or religion, is the Church Pension Fund. Each month I receive over 80% of my total compensation from the 7 years of my highest pay--including housing, pension and medical care. Amazing!)

I still do stuff. I am a long term Interim Missioner for the Middlesex Area Cluster Ministry--three little churches--10-12 hours a week. So, I get paid for that. I also teach at UConn in Waterbury in the Osher Life-long Learning Institute every other semester. I choose to let my stipend go back into the Institute, so I don't get paid. And I'm a leader of the Making a Difference Workshop several times a year. I pay my way for that, except the Mastery Foundation pays when I go to Ireland for the plane ride. So, I stay busy.

But all that is stuff I love to do. What I do the rest of the time is, well, read.

I read 5 books a week--mostly mysteries, though some straight novels and poetry (which I read in a way that doesn't take much time). Almost never non-fiction. I did that in 7 years of post graduate studies (2 at Harvard for my MTS, 2 at Virginia Seminary for my M.Div. and 3 years at Hartford Seminary for my Doctor of Ministry degree) and since I was an undergraduate minor in political science--thinking I might go to law school--I read some non-fiction there for 4 years.

Now I do 'fiction'.

Five books a week. 260 or so books a year.

I spent a lot of time in the 'real world' as a social worker and a priest. And I still have a hand in that world. But I live for fiction.

I think fiction is a way into 'reality'. Fiction creates realities in our heads, places to live for a while knowing we can come back to what is 'real' whenever we need to cook dinner or walk the dog or have a visit with friends or talk to adult children.

But I always have a book with me--no matter what. There's a book on my passenger seat when I go to church, just in case I'm a little early and can steal a few minutes in an alternative world. I don't mind doctors' appointments because I can read while I wait. Plane and train trips are time for reading. I've thought about getting novels on tape (of course, it's not 'tape' anymore--whatever it is) to play while I drive. But I love National Public Radio almost as much as I love reading so I'll never do that.

I've always been a reader--but being retired has made 'a reader' who I am.

And I love it. I went to the library on Wednesday and got 4 books. I'll be starting the last one in bed tonight. And I'll finish it Tuesday if not sooner.

Read, beloved. Read.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.