Redeeming Rhythms

One of the very first steps to our second half is all about “redeeming our rhythms”. Most people look at me blankly when I tell them this and you’re going to hear about them a lot, so maybe I should explain…

Redemption: The action of regaining or gaining possession. Or, the action of saving or being saved from something.

Redemption is a rather old-fashioned word, but I love it. It is about claiming, reclaiming, ownership, and in a very positive way, taking back control. We plan to regain possession of our time, to set aside many traditional constraints, but also to reign in and save ourselves from the ways in which life could disappear.

For us, this Second Half concept is extremely intentional. It would be so easy, the moment we “retired”, to just go with the flow and follow where life leads us. There is a lot that is wonderful about that, but unless we are purposeful, we could easily find ourselves a couple of years down the track, feeling quite lost. We don’t want to be collecting seashells, we want to build purpose and meaning, and unless we prepare well, that won’t happen on its own.

Many of the rhythms of life are chosen for us, by our work and family commitments, our sleep patterns and our health, and even our social lives and the people we hang out with. Life feels out of control for many of us exactly for this reason, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

On the other hand, by retiring, when many of these rhythms are stripped away, we can do the opposite and float away aimlessly. Through the decades we have had so many problems with the lack of balance in Doug’s life and they have come at great cost to all of us (including him), and we want to change this, but not go the other way.

He has started studying, we love to travel, and there is much healing work to be done. We want to see more of the children and grandchildren, and we need to “find ourselves” (though I struggle with the term). We thoroughly enjoyed publishing my first book and part of the great mission of our Second Half is to tell our story and to publish it. It’s a redemption story itself, so watch this space! I have been writing full time for the last couple of years but that has all been put aside the last six months as the packing up of our lives has unfolded. We are both busting to get back into it, to publish the first three books over the next year or so. And in case you didn’t know, he’s an amazing publisher.

The two days since “retirement” we have been completely discombobulated with jet lag, exhaustion, emotion and excitement, illness, stress, and more, and so for both us, we are keen to begin the process of redeeming those rhythms ASAP.

Structuring in Quiet Time, exercise, writing time… setting the odd deadline and expressing and sorting through our goals. Neither of us grew up in worlds where we were allowed to express our needs, so we also have ways in which we are learning to do this. It’s harder than you think when you don’t know how to do it…

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

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@JPeaSmith

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