In August of 2014 Christine and I decided to retire from our professional lives. Our “exit dates” were set for the Spring of 2015. Planning went well, however I encountered an unexpected wall of anxiety at the prospect of losing my “purpose”. The following post is from May of that year and acknowledged the unknown to come:
May 23, 2015
Forty years ago I entered upon the highway of purpose. Early on the journey I slowed for the urban congestion of law school and then accelerated, merging into the lanes of profession and parenthood. I have grown comfortable with being on this journey of purpose, adapting to the rhythm of the mile markers of mail, bills, returning phone calls, and commitment to calendar. There were occasional vacation rest stops, and even the detours of adventure, but always the return to the highway of purpose.
Since last August I have become consciously aware that purpose is a journey and not a destination. The vista of my life path is not endless and to proceed in disregard of this reality is as reckless as to ignore a flashing yellow light. The thought of retirement has been unsettling but only because of the fear of loss of purpose.
These past few months have provided me with the opportunity to reexamine and reconsider my journey. Looking up from my road map I see a sign in the distance and it reads: “Reduce Speed and Prepare to Exit, New Purpose Ahead”.
It is time for a new map.
Peace. Pete Schloss