Quite often, Kathy and I will spend an afternoon or evening watching episodes of Oprah Winfrey’s inspiring talk show Super Soul Sunday. Kathy records each episode for viewing at her convenience. In the episode we watched this evening, Oprah was interviewing Jack Canfield, author of the international best-seller Chicken Soup for the Soul. It was an insightful conversation which touched on a variety of topics. I was especially inspired by what the author does at the conclusion of each day.
Before going to bed each night, Canfield takes time to review his day, acknowledging those things he did well, and considering how he may have handled some parts of his day differently. He also asks himself this intriguing question: “Where could I be more?” Oprah pressed him on this one.
“More?” she asked.
Canfield responded immediately. “More patient. More loving. More forgiving.”
This got me thinking about where I am in my life right now, and how Canfield’s question might be useful for me. So I created a list which, if I gave it more time, would most likely be much longer than the one I came up with tonight.
As I begin my second year of retirement, where can I be more? Where can I be more helpful? ...passionate? ...generous? ...productive? ...creative? ...inspiring? ...challenged? ...appreciated? ...compassionate? ...encouraging? ...patient? ...grateful? ...kind? Where can I be more committed to serving others?
I am thoroughly enjoying my retirement. I’m grateful for the time I have to read, write, exercise, visit with family and friends, and take care of myself. I can’t help but wonder, however, if, perhaps, I shouldn’t be using some of my time to share my God-given gifts to benefit others. After a 40-year career in teaching and pastoral ministry, such a thought is not guilt-induced. I could easily remind myself that I’ve done my time. I’ve helped others. I devoted most of my life to serving others. Yet, when I acknowledge that many of my areas of giftedness are not being utilized at this point in time, I can’t help but wonder if it might be mutually-beneficial for me to find a place where I can continue to share those things I know I do well.
I’m 62-years-old and in good health. I’m not bored. I don’t think my presence at home is driving Kathy crazy. (Not yet, anyway!) I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. And I don’t need a job. Still, I have a sense that I could make a positive difference somewhere. But where?
Beginning tonight, right before settling down for a good night’s sleep, I will give serious thought to that question. I’m convinced that if there isn’t an answer to the question, I wouldn’t have the question.