Retirement リタイア

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I have retired from my job as of August 31. Today is September 1, the first day of my new chapter.  I tell you it’s a strange feeling, happy but sad, relieved but nervous….kind of feeling like losing connections to the world….weird feeling.

I was 18 when I first taught piano and was being paid.  So I have been working for 42 years already.  Piano player/ teacher, Japanese language instructor, administrator/marketer of an English language school, student advisor at an international high school/ college, import-export/marketer of building products and foods, organist, church administrator and music director… many many different jobs. I also took extensive courses and degrees in order to advance my careers in music, language education, and business administration.

When I think back of my working life, I wonder if I left every career incomplete. I also wonder, what would be the parameter for a “success”? If the parameter is “income,” everybody will agree that I have failed. If it’s “accomplishment,” I might have accomplished OK to a degree, but not nearly to the level of some people. If it’s “name recognition”, I get a failing mark.  I was pretty good at marketing products or concepts, but really, not good at all marketing myself.  Well, I am so introverted.  But….It’s OK.  Past is past.  I cannot go back to those days and re-live my life differently.  Instead, I would love to thank all these people who gave me a chance to work, a chance to shine, who were so patient, who kept me close and watched me, who showed understanding, who encouraged me, who advised me, and who told me things I didn’t want to hear.  I have immense gratitude for both the societies of Japan and Canada.  I indeed have received so much from so many people and organizations.

I now have to return what has been given to me, to the next generation.  I have to do something to repay the societies. That would be the goal for my new chapter. Interesting how thinking about one thing seems to attract and bring all kinds of coincidences…. One of them was the words I came across, from the book I picked up last time I was in Japan, called “与命”(Given Life) by an old but still active medical doctor named Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara. He says in this book, “Life is time given to you, for you to live in this world.”  “What do you mean by using your given life? It means to use your time for others.”  Powerful words…. Dr. Hinohara is age 105 this year, still working in the medical field. “Using my time for others”…..I should make this the goal for my retired life.  Happy to be retired, happy to enter my new chapter, but a bit nervous.





Author: Haruyo Abramson

I'm a musician, mom, and grandma, living in BC, Canada with my husband and three dogs.

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