Retirement Approaches

A cloudy, unusually warm, dramatic day. Occasionally the sun breaks through but that will become less likely as the day progresses. Tonight we will set yet another record for high overnight temperatures. Actually, it appears we will be in totally uncharted territory temperature wise.

Tomorrow a cold front is due to pass through with high winds and rumbles of thunder. It is forecast to drop temperatures by nearly 30 degrees F in a few hours. This is springtime weather with few February analogs.

I retire a week tomorrow and this week has been filled with goodbyes as I end therapy with clients. After forty plus years of work as a therapist this transition is proving profoundly complex and liminal. I am saying goodbye to people I care deeply about, walking through a door and shutting it behind me. As with many transitions I am not at all sure what lies in the next room.

That is overstating things a bit. I am closing the door on my time as a therapist but not necessarily on the people with whom I have had long, deep relationships. I will continue to want to know about the arc of their lives and to care about them. Still, for those who stay in touch our relationship will be fundamentally changed.

I am making this transition at a time when the oppressive workings of the colonial structure are on full display. That structure is so entrenched as to appear in the actions of governments around the world, from Russia’s threat to annex Ukraine to the public display of racism and brutality we witness in the vast differences between the Canadian police treatment of truckers versus their treatment of Indigenous people and environmentalists.

Here in the U.S. colonialism is running amok as evidenced by a host of events, including the racist erasure of history and voting rights, and governmental misinformation regarding Covid. Even the federal government is now ignoring the research even as children and people of color die or become disabled in record numbers. It seems we are awash in purposeful misinformation and many of the physicians I know are beside themselves with frustration and rage.

I find retiring difficult as I watch the world turn increasingly mad and individuals and families face a growing need for support and validation. I seem to be endlessly telling clients they are not crazy, the culture is. Just the simple action of driving to the local bakery requires navigating the crazed privilege and rage of others.

So I step into this transition fully aware that even as I close one door and open the next the madness will accompany me. While I am passing the proverbial torch to the next generations, I will walk along with them as much as possible and support their quest for a more just, sane world.

And still, I look forward to spending more time in in the studio and in sunbeams.

13 thoughts on “Retirement Approaches

  1. Warm wishes as you navigate this transition. You don’t need to go it alone – there are may of us holding out our hands to guide you into this very complex but joyful time.

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