Looking for the Finish Line

I am struggling to see through a fog. I think I’m headed in the right direction only to be brought up short. It has gotten to the point that I’m hesitant to move at all. I have been told that there is a goal and that I’m responsible for moving across that finish line. There are moments when trouble and difficulties are seen with a sharper focus. It is as if a veil has been lifted, the smoke clears, and all is seen with clarity. I’ve had one of those instances of eidetic vision.

At the crack of the starter’s pistol
The race begins
Flying heels and elbows
The pack thins

Running hard as I can
I tire and lag
Goal of a personal best
I feel hope flag

I’m bringing up the rear
Passed by all
Worrying about finishing
Before night fall

When it dawns on me
I don’t need to run
I can stop to smell the flowers
I deserve some fun

Quitting the completion
A thought so new
Frighteningly foreign
I knew what to do

Pull off the shoes and runners vest
Slow to a walk
Let go of worry and all the rest
Listen while God talks

It is going to take a little time but I’m certain that I need and want to make a change in the course of my life. Perhaps I’ll assist in a vet clinic. Maybe I’ll get more involved at church. I could seriously learn to throw on the wheel. It is possible I’ll even put some of my ceramics on Esty. My mother has been hounding me for years to get my poetry into book form. I might join the gym (not that I really want to but there wouldn’t be a single reason why I couldn’t). My sister suggested monetizing my blog. Currently I’m looking at options to occupy my time as well as consulting with the financial planner to see what I need to do to be able to retire and not outlive my money. In the meantime I have a business trip planned for late October which requires me to complete a poster presentation. I have a biennial inspection in late November and a semi-annual inspection in December to prepare for. I have October performance reviews due and a score of monthly items to handle…

33 thoughts on “Looking for the Finish Line

  1. A great poem, Val, but with a troubling underlay. It certainly sounds as if you are ‘ready,’ if the opportunity should arise. A consultation with the financial planner is an excellent idea — you may find it to be quite revealing as to your options. In the meantime, be sure not to overload yourself with work and other activities! My best wishes go out to you!

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    1. I wrote this a week ago to post today. Yesterday I attended the annual “town hall” where the campus administration lets the rank and file know what big initiatives are planned for the coming year. I took it as a sign that they are rolling out an early retirement incentive program in October – the first one since 2011….

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      1. So many people retire and say they don’t know how they ever had time to work 40 hour weeks. You’ve identified a number of activities that can fill the void — your ceramics, a vet clinic, finishing your book of poems, a gym, etc — pretty soon you won’t have time to do all the things you want to do — lol ! Time to go off and do some geocaching!

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        1. I’ve heard that too. I suppose I’ll end up busy – one way or another. There are several projects around the house that I’ve been procrastinating about. Retirement would eliminate my excuses and I’d just have to tackle them!

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  2. Love the poem, Muri. Glad clarity has broken the spell of blindly racing forward toward whatever is it we’re supposed to race toward. Hope God speaks to you in those quiet moments. You DO deserve some fun, and you’ve got lots of great ideas here! 🙂

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    1. Thanks tons! I am happy when my poetry is appreciated. I am pretty sure that come July 1 I’ll get to join the ranks of “retired” people. It gives me strength to keep running – at least for a little while longer.

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  3. For your retirement you have a large choice of projects possible , Val . But according what you write you have numerous professional tasks to do. personally I did not wished the retirement .
    love ❤
    Michel

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    1. I am torn between the allure of retirement and the fear of being bored. I think I’ll give retirement a try and if I get too bored I’ll just find another job. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t retire voluntarily! Many people connect what they do with who they are…

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        1. I hope so. However if pregnancy is any indication then the 8 months will be fraught with nausea, sudden lethargy, swelling of extremities, weight gain and a final push amid pain… I only hope I have something wonderful to show for it!

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  4. Quitting a job that was once fulfilling is a terrifying prospect but you will be amazed, when you take the plunge, at how exciting it is to be free.You will be free to pursue opportunities you can’t even imagine at this time. You probably don’t need to make as much money as you are used to and it’s actually fun to find ways to economize when you have the time. For instance, when I wasn’t working, I had time to bicycle to almost all of my errands; my car sat in the garage with a full tank of gas for weeks on end. Quitting a job isn’t like divorce, you can always go back to work if you find freedom too exhilarating 🙂

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  5. Wow–sounds like a busy and overwhelming three months.
    I hope you figure out what you want and can do as far as retirement goes. Prayers to that end b/c you sound like you are definitely ready. Putting your items out there could bring in the extra money you could use. Hugs

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  6. It seems you are on a “review a month” regimen, which I would find a bit disconcerting. many of the same conclusions and observations will make their way into these reports. Do plan your finances carefully. I have a different living situation in mind, for two years hence, but the life of a renter or homeowner does not get any cheaper, after retirement.

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  7. All the best for this month! Transition times are so hard, but can become so beautiful. I pray that you find guidance in the one you are experiencing now.
    And your mother is right! Put your poetry in a book! Others will be blessed.

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    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement both on the work front and for the poetry compilation…The hard part is making the selection on what should be included. I have many years of writing that will have to be sifted through!

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  8. You’ll be fine. You’re a great manager of your finances, know how to save and spend, have many outside interests and friends too. Remember, life is too short to spend it doing something that makes you feel miserable! When teaching became a dreaded chore instead of a joy and fulfilling profession, I retired early and never ever regretted it! I loved the children but hated the “politics” and busy work and unnecessary things we were required to do that had nothing to do with teaching children!

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    1. Have you decided to embrace some Italian genetics or is this signalling your support of Beto? Or have your posts so outraged some readers that you’ve taken an alias??? Anyway it is looking pretty possible – met with the financial planner and just got some of the info on the “golden handshake”. There is more to do but a decision must be declared by March 31st if I’m going to jump at this opportunity. There is always the possibility of being a contract employee or On-call at the university but I am not eligible for 90 days after I take retirement.

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