12th February 2013 was my last day at the office; after 46 years of a work-life that had proved incessantly God’s faithfulness and care. An activity packed month then ensued; with Chinese New Year family get-togethers, planning for our Thailand trip, making the trip, and settling home again.
Retirement was never at the forefront of my mind, but what triggered it were concerned signs and symptoms of burnout that I eventually identified in mid-2012. How did that come about? Well, I think looking after my mother, particularly during the last 6 months of her life, was intense and heartbreaking, and we are still in the throes of grieving.
On the top of that, I had been working with six personality disordered and a couple of dissociated identity disordered clients (some of them were suicidal.) Thankfully, all of them were stabilized before my retirement. But the intensity proved too overwhelming at times.
There were no other options available, so I stepped back to save myself, before the burnout takes a deeper toll physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God has again been healing me and helping me recover the joy of His salvation.
What will I be doing? I am not so sure myself, except to lean on Him and learn over again to trust Him for his next adventure. And I suppose, to manage myself a little better the next time around.
I have not been not doing anything! For a start, I have got into astronomy again (a long forgotten hobby that I had relegated outside my consciousness for a long time); and have completed a 90-hours course on it, read an entire textbook for undergraduate students on the subject, and now going through Stephen Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell – a tough read for a non-physics person! It’s suppose to be an easier version of his tome, A Brief History of Time.
I am also learning to keep still and know that He is God. What a difficult thing to do for a ‘bee’ like me. But a very necessary lesson.