28 March 2009

Mid-life crisis

Or rather, late-life crisis.

Sue told me the other day that, a few months ago, she felt a little stale. She could see the two of us living in this house, doing the same things as at present, but each year a little more slowly - like a wound-up toy that is running down - just keeping on keeping on.

Which is, after all, about right. Nevertheless, life has some surprises for us.

We are involved in Opus Dei. Since a couple of years after we became Catholics, Opus Dei has been of great help to us in living our faith, in seeking to serve God better in our daily life.

A part of that involvement means going to an annual week-end retreat. Susan attends a one-week theology course each year as well. These and similar activities currently take place in various inadequate locations - hired motels, private houses, etc - because Opus Dei is fairly new in New Zealand. In countries where 'The Work' (as it is sometimes known - 'Opus Dei' is Latin for 'the Work of God') has been longer they typically have a centre dedicated to that purpose.

A retreat centre is going to be built near Pukekohe. The land has been acquired; now building permits have to be granted, and construction undertaken. All of that is going to take some time. Nevertheless, there is now a real location.

And the trust that actually owns this property has bought a house on neighbouring land. The idea is that a couple who are friendly people, and acquainted with and positive toward Opus Dei, would live there. Their functions would be fairly vague - 'greeters' to people visiting the site; 'gatekeepers,' in a sense; possibly also involved in some management duties.

It is intended that Sue and I should be that couple.

The plan is that, for the rest of this year, they will rent the house to someone - perhaps just commercially. Sue and I need to do some freshening up of our house - that is the painting she referred to in her post today - in order to make our house rentable.

We had thought of selling our house, actually, which in some ways would be simpler. My concern is that if we were to do so, we would likely end up with not enough capital (after paying debt and moving costs), even with investment, to buy a house in this area when we finally must retire. So we are going to rent our house.

All a bit daunting and nothing I ever imagined doing but this is something we think would please God and help the Church - and we are looking forward to it. It will mean significant changes in details of our lives, but basically things will go on as at present. The house is about 12 Km northwest of Pukekohe so I will have to drive into town to catch my 'bus to the University - and of course it means more driving for Sue. But we are looking forward to it.

So I guess my mother was right when she used to say - à propos of almost anything: "it just goes to show you" :-)

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