aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,
aefenglommung
aefenglommung

Nobody told me this would happen

I knew that when I retired, I would have a challenge building relationships. I mean, so many of my relationships were interwoven with my pastoral identity; few people related to me just as myself. So, I've been working on that the last seventeen months. It's hard to meet new people and figure out relationships at this age. But then, I knew it would be.

What has surprised me in my retirement is how much I miss relating to young people. For forty years, I taught confirmation classes, worked with youth groups, and made sure I paid as much attention to children and young adults as I did to mature adults and the elderly in my congregations. A week didn't go by that I didn't have a number of significant interactions with young people.

And as a Scout leader, I had even more contact with children and youth. I had multiple roles in three units in my last appointment: I was Treasurer of the Cub Pack, an Assistant Scoutmaster in the Troop, and Crew Advisor, as well as being Chaplain for all three units. I spent a lot of time talking with kids, doing things with kids, listening to kids do what kids do. But when I left my last appointment, I left leadership of all three of those units, since I couldn't ethically hang onto leadership positions in the ministries of a parish I was leaving. So, for the first time in over twenty years, I have no regular weekly meeting of any group of Scouts to attend.

Well, we still go to church, and I'm still a volunteer in Scouting, but it's weird. It's like I've got a massive case of Empty Nest Syndrome. I miss the hubbub. I miss their smiles and enthusiasm. I miss having young people as a regular part of my menu of relationships.

It makes me feel . . . old.
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