Following are brief excerpts from Project Renewment, along with illustrations by Lahni Baruck.
Essay 1: "Retirement: Yes Or No"
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
~ Lewis Carroll
"It was easier to make the decision to divorce my husband than it was to make the decision to retire. I actually thought replacing my husband would be easier than replacing my career," said a sixty-seven-year old interior designer.
A sixty-six-year old executive director found that retirement was the hardest decision she ever made. "Work was my life. The people I worked with were my family. Facing my staff and board members to say good-bye was wrenching. I couldn't sleep at night..."
Essay 6: "Who Am I Without A Business Card?"
"The value of identity...is that so often it comes with purpose."
~ Richard R. Grant
Our business card is gone. Without it, we feel naked. Giving up that rectangle-shaped piece of card stock is like giving up part of ourselves. So often we have been asked, "May I have your card?" And how many times have we handed over our card, collected one in return and then added the new one to the stack on our desk?...
Essay 12: "Is Busy Better?"
"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?"
~ Henry David Thoreau
Imagine the feeling of euphoria during the first month of retirement. There are no deadlines, e-mails, commutes, office politics or pressures. The time is ours, yet we still haven't slowed down. Our calendars are filled with so much to do that we can hardly catch our breath. This initial period of retirement is often referred to as the honeymoon phase. Many of us will feel exhilarated -- at least for awhile. So began the experience of one newly retired woman in Project Renewment...