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Friends Far and Near
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Friends Far and Near was the name of my reading book in the third or fourth grade. In it were stories of children our age in other countries with their differing clothing, food, customs. I loved it and I picked up a second hand copy of it when I found one in a used bookstore years later. I've always loved travel, adventure, exploration, change. There isn't a challenge I've encountered that didn't raise the flag for me. It's the day-to-day slog that I find so difficult.

I'm on vacation this week (a week of retirement?) and I find myself thinking of my newly-retired friend, so many thousands of miles away. What is she doing right now? How does it feel to undergo such a radical change of lifestyle overnight? How is she adapting to her new country (semi-new; she's been there many times during vacation breaks)? What's the biggest challenge she faces in retirement?

That last question may be better asked a few months down the line, when the flurry of activities--packing, moving, unpacking, etc.--has quieted and life has settled into a routine. I expect the transition to be disorienting (not that that's a bad thing), going from wage slave to independent woman. Time and time again to order her life as she wishes.

She's also stepping away from the political insanity that is the current U.S. position in the world. And the craziness that our computer--video games--cellphone--Blackberry lives have become, where every single moment has to be filled with activity of some sort, lest we find ourselves with quiet minutes to do nothing but listen or think or feel, the preliminary state necessary to self-awareness and creativity.

I admire her and wish her the best. May her computer connection to the World Wide Web never fail!

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