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March 6, 2004
Insert an emotion, it says when I move the mouse. Hmmmn; my emotions have never come when called like that. I don’t insert mine.

I scroll down the emotional offerings. There is a little stick figure with his head on his desk. He is banging his fists on the desktop and weeping. Poor fellow. If I were still in parish ministry, I could have used him for my parochial report. At least then he would have had work.

All of the emotions available for insertion are negative ones. There are several of people telling each other off, one of a woman gossiping with another woman, one of an annoyed-looking man, one of several little stick people being much too busy. Not a single happy face among them. I guess the designer doesn't envision communication being much fun, At least not at work.

How's retirement? I ask my friend. She's just out, after 35 years. She is glad to be free, eager for the next chapter of her life. But she spent her first free weekend in bed. I didn't even go to church, she said. I was so depressed.

How about that? Longing for retirement for years and finally retired, and BOOM! Who am I? What do I do? This was not a person who didn't plan for retirement. She has a plan. But leaving work is hard. Even if you're ready. Even if, like my friend, you didn't really like your job anyhow.

It takes time to make a change. Any change, even one you've wanted for years. Your feelings lag behind your experience. You don't feel like yourself. Insert an emotion, says your computer, and you scan the stick figures for one that looks like you.

But be patient with yourself. You'll catch up. History unfolds, and yours is unfolding.
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