What will you do for the rest of the summer?

by Father Mark Goldasich 

Wow, it feels great to be retired!

Well, I guess I’m just semiretired. Actually, to be totally accurate, I should say that I’m temporarily semiretired. Oh, for goodness sake, I’ll explain things a little later. For now, though, I’m rehearsing some of these answers from actual retirees to use eventually:

Question: How many days in a week for a retiree? Answer: Six Saturdays, one Sunday.

Q: When is a retiree’s bedtime? A: Two hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Q: Why don’t retirees mind being called seniors? A: The term comes with a 10 percent discount.

Q: Among retirees, what is considered formal attire? A: Tied shoes.

Q: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire? A: NUTS!

Q: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage? A: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

Q: What do retirees call a long lunch? A: Normal.

Q: What is the best way to describe retire- ment? A: The never-ending coffee break.

Q: What’s the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree? A: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Q: Why does a retiree often say he doesn’t miss work, but misses the people he used to work with? A: She’s too polite to tell the whole truth!

Now, let me explain my “temporary semi-retirement.” It’s called The Leaven’s summer schedule, where we only publish a paper every other week. In fact, all of The Leaven staff gets this temporary semi-retirement. Although we enjoy our work here, by the end of May, the weekly schedule does grind us down and we look forward to a little breathing room and a chance to recharge our batteries.

I hope that you’ll make time in these upcoming weeks for a temporary semi-retirement. Treat yourself to a vacation or a staycation, where you can experience a little renewal in body, mind and spirit. Below are some ways to escape from the pressures of modern-day living this summer:

  • Make visits to the six Holy Doors in the archdiocese: Cathedral of St. Peter, Kansas City, Kansas; St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison; Assumption, Topeka; Divine Mercy, Gardner; St. Mary, St. Benedict; and Sacred Heart, Mound City.
  • Pick up a spiritual book to read, or leisurely make your way through Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of Love.”
  • Spend an entire day (or more) without your cellphone or social media.
  • Ride a bike or take a stroll through nature to appreciate God’s handiwork.
  • Visit a library to see all that it has to offer . . . and it’s not just books anymore.
  • Wander through a museum and spend time savoring especially the religious works of art.
  • Do some writing: jot down thoughts in a journal, make a wish list of summer sights, or pen a letter to friends.
  • Get lost in a hobby.
  • Take in a little live culture: attend a play or a concert.
  • Go on a retreat or day of prayer.
  • Get in a little bit of exercise. If it’s hot outside, go bowling; if comfortable, play a round of disc golf.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s what Pope Francis has to say: “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as grati cation. To put it another way: People who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.”

Not wishing to disobey the Holy Father, I’m outta here! See you back in this space on June 3.

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