Four Months Left On The Retirement Countdown Chain

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I’ve been thinking a lot about Tarzan. The image of him swinging from tree top to tree top, the sensation of motion, the coordination and careful execution it of letting go of the vine behind just in time to grasp the one in front, the exhilaration of making a successful transfer, of being propelled forward, already reaching for the next vine ahead.

Maybe I watched too many cartoons as a child, or maybe this recent Tarzan-fixation is because I know that order to go somewhere new, to do something different, there must be a releasing of other things. This has, after all, already been a year of letting go of things.

When my daughter and her family moved to northern BC I had to let go of my Norman Rockwellian dream of living within minutes of all of my grandchildren and of  being part of their everyday life. When Gerry and I made the decision to return to Kamloops when we retire I had to let go of my lifelong dream of returning to live on the prairie. And now, I’m still grieving the loss of  my precious Yorkie, Chelsea.

Events of this past year have reminded of the folly of believing that I’m running the show, directing the plan, in control of the outcome. Sometimes, in my desire for things to work out in a certain way, I forget that there is One who is much wiser and more powerful than I who holds the plan for the rest of my life in the palm of His hand. What sweet release it is when I allow myself to exhale, accept, and put my trust in Him. Still, I’m a project planner, a list maker, and the idea of going forward into the unknown scares the bejeepers out of me.

I remind myself: our house will sell in His timing; we will find a new home in Kamloops that is of His choosing. I have stopped stalking the site multiple times a day. I’ve stopped worrying that the house we like in Kamloops will sell before we get there. I’ve let go of concerns about the local real estate market. Well, I’m working on letting go of concerns about the local real estate market.

Instead, I’m trying to focus more on appreciating simple things like the coziness of the soft, warm, quilt I wrap myself in for my morning meditation, watching hummingbirds feed while Gerry and I sit in the hot tub on a Saturday morning, cuddling up together to watch a Doc Martin movie on a blustery Sunday afternoon, or watching a new season of Battle of the Blades on TV.

Still, I can’t help the anticipation I feel at what’s ahead. I can’t help but be impatient for these things that I’m looking forward to.

  • Bright, white, snowy, sunny days in Kamloops
  • Establishing a regular writing routine in the morning when I’m freshest
  • Friday afternoon coffee dates with my bestie
  • Sunday dinners with my son and his girlfriend
  • Spontaneously heading to my favourite bookstore, grabbing a latte, and losing myself in the bookshelves for an hour or so
  • Having time to cook, so it’s not just a chore to be done at the end of a work day when it’s the last thing I have the energy for
  • Having the freedom to head off anytime we want to visit the kids and grands
  • Unpacking my sewing machine, fabric stash, and quilting magazines, finishing up some projects and starting new ones
  • Simplicity; time just to “be” instead of having to “do”.

Some days I feel like I’m dangling in the middle, still grasping the vine behind but unable to quite reach the vine ahead. Trust, I whisper. Appreciate what’s here and now, I remind myself.

Then that image of an ape man swinging through the jungle comes to mind and I smile as I picture my face on Tarzan’s body swinging through the jungle.

Whimsy. Fun. Yes, I’m looking forward to more of that too.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Hi Linda,
    Wow, first of all, this is such a beautifully written essay and the metaphor of Tarzan works so well for letting go and moving forward. Brilliant.
    Retiring is a difficult transition – in some ways I feel like I’m still in that transition, even tho’ I retired from my job in 1999 to write full time.
    Best wishes for all you have to look forward to.

    1. Hi Karen, thanks so much for your kind words! Life, in some ways, is a constant transition of some kind don’t you think? We may have seasons where there is less change than others but nothing stays the same for long it seems. My best to you on your continued retirement as well, and thank you for stopping by today.

  2. It’s sounds as though you are weighing options and finding your balance, Avery good thing! A Doc Martin fan too–shut up!

    1. Another Doc Martin fan! We have more in common than I realized!

  3. Linda, I am re-living my own anticipatory transition as I read your lovely essay. You are weighing your options carefully and negotiating with yourself in this bittersweet letting-go process. May you step into this next phase with peace, confidence and hope. It will be what you make it and it will be wonderful. After all, who’s going to argue with Tarzan.xoxo


    1. “It will be what you make it.” I agree, Kathy! And I’ve got Tarzan on my side too. 🙂

  4. You make this sound like such a wonderful new adventure which I’m sure it will be. I almost envy your situation.

    Wrote By Rote

    1. Hi Arlee! Thanks for stopping by! My life has been, and continues to be, an adventure. I trust that yours has been equally an adventure. It’s not always smooth, but it’s usually interesting, isn’t it?

  5. Dear Linda, I thought I’d left a comment here a week or so ago, but I must have been mistaken. So here goes: living in the present and in Presence as you know is a life-long endeavor. One seeped in gratitude I think. As to the whimsy of Tarzan and the trees–I so hope that happens for you.

    For myself it took ten years, several of which were taken up with health issues, to really retire and not demand that I produce something each day. I’m still trying to let go of being a workaholic–at 77. I’m so hoping that your dream list of what you’ll be doing is richly rewarding and satisfying. Peace.

  6. That’s a great list, Linda. You have some very nice activities to look forward to in your retirement. Like you, I appreciate having time for simple pleasures. Lynne

  7. […] few months ago I wrote about feeling like Tarzan swinging through the jungle and how I felt like I was dangling in the middle, still grasping the […]

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