Several people around me, myself included, have retired from a regular job. Retirement affects each individual differently. The big question seems to be, can I keep busy doing something that is meaningful to me.

Had I placed my job at the center of my life, my life would essentially be over. I would have nothing to live for. Centers are important because they transcend jobs, family, power, money, and position. (This is not centering prayer.)

This blog asks only three questions:

  • What is the center of my life?
  • What is my personal center, based on the center I just selected?
  • How can I protect my center from the clutches of Original Sin?
  • A Full Colonel retires from the Air Force to civilian life. Usually, there is time for a second career, if not what do you do?
  • A physician spent her whole life as a pediatrician. but now does not practice anymore. What will occupy her time?
  • Here is the point! Each of us has to have something to fill in the gap between retirement and when we die. What will it be for you?


Finding myself at the end of my career(s), I looked around for something to do besides watching the plastic flowers bud, I joined the Lay Cistercians of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit ( Lay Cistercians are not monks but try to follow the Rule of St. Benedict as interpreted by the monks and nuns that follow the Cistercian Way. Lay Cistercians all live in their respective communities and promise to be faithful to the practices and charisms of the Cistercians as best they can.

We are encouraged to have a schedule of activities for each day and to seek God where we are. Sometimes we act alone and sometimes we are lucky enough to have other Lay Cistercians join us in our work and prayer.

Work, in my instance, has taken on a dimension I never envisaged when I first began my discernment.

Since 2000, I have written over 61 books on contemplative spirituality. You may find the list of them at, then type in Dr. Michael F. Conrad.

I have written all these books, now what to do with them? I had the thought that I will donate them to prison libraries in Florida and Georgia, both Federal and State. You must choose your own ministry.

Let me know what you want to try. I can help you with a consultation.


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