I learned on Friday that I was retiring. It came as a real shock to me as I don't intend, ever, to actually retire. Apparently there is this major rumour going around that I'm about to say 'Adios' to the world of work. I have no idea how these things get started, why anyone would waste time making up stuff. Good heavens, I've got a blog, if anything so momentous as a retirement was in the offing, I'd be announcing it in big bold letters.
Rumours are ugly things.
At first it may seem harmless, a rumour like this, but its not. On several levels. For me, and this may seem trite, this life I have and the things I do are way more important to me than 'jobs' or 'occupations' or good heavens 'hobbies'. This is my life's passion, my mission if you will. You don't resign from purpose. It's not possible. I do what I do because I need to do what I do. I spend weekends reading disability information, updating on disability trends and ideas, trying out new disability ideas, thinking about new ways to promote the concepts of disability pride and disability identity. I'm not trying to sanctify myself, I don't do this out of duty, I do it for the sheer bloody pleasure of it. I like the rebellion of holding a differing point of view. I like the contrariness of believing that there is value in difference. It thrills me to challenge, within, prejudices formed from without.
Second, I like to train and to influence, who's going to call someone on the brink of retirement. That makes it sounds like I'm way past prime, way past current trends. People will think that I no longer have my finger on the pulse of change, rather that I'm barely registering a pulse! I don't want to be seen as a 'has been' before I've 'been gone'. I'm here. I'm staying. I love what I do. I go to work at Vita to do what matters, not to mark time. I go into lecture halls to talk about what needs to be done not what has already been accomplished.
I don't know where the rumour came from. What I do know though that a simple blog won't undo the damage that lying lips have done.
So for those who hear about my retirement. Please from me, correct the impression. Tell people that I'm already booking dates into 2012. Tell people that I've just finished writing the introduction to one book, have another due in March, and have begun to write up research on work with offenders. (I've had to shorten that list.)
I'm not going anywhere.
Until God calls, I'll take yours.