Over the past five years I have adjusted to the reality and beauty of simplicity.  Having retired from a job that I was on call 24/7 and that was at least moderately stressful each day, it has been a process to slow down and smell the roses.

When I was involved with my career I immersed myself in all aspects of it.  From personally visually inspecting the over one hundred academic buildings that I was responsible for to becoming involved with any committees and groups that I believed could aid my department as well as my great love…the University.

More often than not my thoughts were filled with work even when I was away from it.  This can become a compelling and beguiling siren song…and a good excuse to not be involved with the many other facets of life that are so enriching and rewarding.

Since my retirement I have endeavored to focus on the simplicity and beauty of living.  Often when former colleagues ask me what I am doing now that I am retired…when I respond that I am enjoying life…they look somewhat perplexed.

But, isn’t there more than devoting all of your time to career and it’s fools gold?  It goes without saying that I worked thirty-two years, two months and three weeks at a job that I loved from a compelling necessity to make a living.  However in this short life we are given isn’t there more to be sought and experience than another work challenge?

Robin Williams portraying english teacher John Keating in the movie Dead Poet’s Society said, “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute.  We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.  And the human race is filled with passion.  And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life.  But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.  To quote Whitman, “O me!  O life!…IMG_0643of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless…of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer.  That you are here-that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.  That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse.  What will your verse be?”



20 responses

  1. Lovely post and I adore the winding pathway in your photo! Although not retired, I have chosen to work freelance and reduce the pressure. While it is enticing to get caught up in the corporate world, there is so much more to life. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much my friend! The photo of the path was taken from a woods on the campus of Southern Illinois University near my home.

  2. Nice post sir …The line saying “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race” is the best..

  3. Absolutely love the film Dead Poet’s Society and it definitely is one that makes you want to go out and grab life. Great post and a solid reminder that there is more to life than going through the motions. We all need money but I’m of the opinion that I only need ‘enough’ not an excess – stacks of cash is pointless if you don’t have the time or energy to enjoy it!

    1. Thank you so much! I agree! 😃

  4. BjBrooks, as a fellow retiree, this posting is so powerful in statement.

    Your words spark my emotions and thought, knowing I’m enjoying my life each day with incredible happiness.

    The quotes from the motion picture “Dead Poets Society” is spot on. Thanks for such a great posting. 🙂

    1. Thank you my friend! I appreciate your kind words! 😃

  5. Reblogged this on “A pre-published Indie Author and commented:
    Powerful words for the retired and those who strive towards the opportunity.

  6. I love that verse. Thanks for the reminder and the photos.

    1. You are most welcome! Thank you!

  7. not complicating things and living your life makes it worth living for

  8. Hello, Even though I am not retired I am trying to live a quieter, simpler life. I am getting rid of possessions, getting off of time/energy draining groups, etc. It is an interesting process. I am so much happier for it. Lori

    1. I agree! Life was not meant to be lived frenetically.

  9. Love that movie and didn’t really know why. Timing is important in our lives and by patience we are humbled, hopefully not obliterated. Such a nice post; I’m totally attuned. Maybe I can learn from you your tireless devotion to job and life. I’m actually like that myself. Good for us that we have found a beauty not known to many.

    1. Life is much like chapters of a book. Thank you for your very kind comments. 😃

  10. I’m with you! I’m not sure if I wrote a post about Simplicity. My sister in law gave me (and everyone in the family) a stylish little block that only says Simplicity. She then shared a devotion about it. It was just what my husband and I needed-to push us towards becoming minimalists. We’ve sold (or given away) everything, bought an RV and now we travel full time.
    I’m not sure how you found my blog, but thanks! Now we’ve connected!

    1. I am looking forward to reading your blog posts! I know your life must be fascinating! 😃

      1. Thanks. We’re so grateful we live this way!

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