This last week I’ve been “camping” in one room of our condo down in Arizona, working with Karl and a young man named Jay to clean and re-tool the condo to get it ready to either rent or sell this year. I recall my plans six years ago for renovation and the happiness I imagined in decorating a home for play and our winter months of retirement. Little did I know that I would be doing parts of that decorating for someone else. Surprisingly, it does not make me feel as terrible as I anticipated.
As I’ve been scrubbing floors and cleaning bathrooms that haven’t been cleaned in quite a while, I have found myself reflecting on how the material things we look forward to are so transient, and rarely give us the pleasure we expected from them. For over six years, Karl and I talked about spending time in our condo, making new friends, playing golf, bowling, and participating in the many community offerings of the retirement community where the condo is located. We looked forward to spending time with my father and step-mother, and being there if/when they might need us as they grew older.
Now, as I have been spending more time in other pursuits, I find the prospect of a retirement of play less than what I desire. I find more peace and contentment in pursuing the invisible energy of the Universe that fills the empty spaces in my life with so much joy. It brings more people into my life who are seeking the same thing, and my experiences are broadening as well. I am consciously and intentionally building the life I really want, and while I anticipate more play over the next few years, I also anticipate a long and fulfilling career as coach and teacher.
Unfortunately, these conscious choices also mean that there are people who are removing themselves from my life. People I care about. They are not interested in the journey I’m taking both spiritually and professionally, and don’t understand my desire to continue to contribute from who and where I am. While this is painful at times, it is the way of things. A wise man once told me, “People are in our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Rarely does anyone participate in your growth for a lifetime.”
The lesson here is to be grateful for all the beauty, music, knowledge and abundance of the world; to be thankful for the ability to “be” in the moment and enjoy the pleasure of the senses. You will benefit from immense peace when practicing unlimited love and forgiveness. None of this requires the pursuit of the material.
Lao Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching “One may look for fulfillment in this world but his longing will never be exhausted. The only thing he ever finds is that he himself is exhausted.”
I am pleased to be able to make the condo into a home which will give others the same pleasure I received in doing so.
Get pleasure from what you experience through your senses, but notice what gives you lasting enjoyment and go do that. You will benefit from a retirement that is both fulfilling and playful!