Monday, October 29, 2007

Autumn Of My Life: Transition To A Career In Muslim Chaplaincy?

It's that time of the year again.

A few days ago, I went outside and prepared my garden for the winter, pulling out dying tomatoe vines, and dry stalks left over from the beautiful flowers of the summer.

This morning, I signed my retirement papers. I have been employed in the field of Corrections for almost 10 years.

Just like fall is an exciting time because of all the beautiful colors and smells, so is the prospect of retirement. The end of one season. The start of a new one. Exciting, but a transition nonetheless.

I remind myself that I will now have time to do the things that I like to do: writing, jewelry-making cooking, homemaking, gardening ... Yes, I know. I can do them and still hold down a full time job, but I would like to devote myself fully to these activities. I have held down a full time job for most of my life. I am close to 60 years old. I'm sick of it.

I need to get my health in order. Also need to lose weight. No use in being retired and not having the health to enjoy life.

Hubby and I are also planning to buy a house in 2008, Insha Allah. I am real excited about that! And could spend at least a year getting it the way I like it.

But the biggest transition, Insha Allah, will be to a retirement career as a Muslim chaplain.

I currently work in a maximum security state prison for women. Our Muslim chaplain did not renew her contract because she wants to finish school at Hartford Seminary. So, the prison invited me to apply. I should know something by the end of November. At the same time I will be retiring from my full time position. The Muslim chaplain contract is for one day a week, six hours. A perfect retirement gig, eh?! I am so looking forward to it. I have worn many hats in my career but I never thought I would have the opportunity to be a Muslim chaplain. Allah (swt) is truly good to me, Alhamdulillah.


Norma Kassim PhD said...

Salam, May Allah swt make the way easy for you and hope you will accomplish a lot in the new work.

Anonymous said...

May Allah grant what is best for you. InshAllah I think it sounds like a great opportunity. Especially since you know the system and the inmates so well. Allah karim.

Happy Muslim Mama said...

Salaam sister,
I work full-time but I am in my late 20's, so working until 60 sounds really something to me.
Spending time doing just the small pleasurable things, creating things, gardening, sounds lovely. May Allah make this a time of peace and ease for you inshAllah.
I applied for a hospital chaplaincy post once and didn't get the job, but it sounds like such a great opportunity to help others and increase your good deeds in the process.

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Everyone:

Jazaka Allahu Khayrn for your comments.

Umm Salihah: yes, working to 60 is something, lol. I have worked my entire life. It will be nice, Insha Allah, to have my life to myself. Not having to drag myself to a full-time job every day. Of course, a part-time job, like the chaplaincy, or 1 day a week as a substance abuse counselor is OK. But, I want to stay home and serve my husband. Alhamdulillah for him that he fears Allah (swt) and fulfills his marriage responsibility. I just want to stay home. Now is the time that I can do it. You know? Before illness takes a solid grip. I want to do things while I can, Insha Allah. Say dua for me and all of us.