Saturday, September 22, 2018

Ice Breaker-Sample Speech PM1, "Out of the Rat Race"

This is my 12th speech under Pathways. The speech was delivered at the BF Community Toastmasters Club (BFComm) Open House Meeting at Cassalu Coffee & Kitchen. This was the first time we were holding a meeting at this new venue.

Out of the Rat Race
(Ice Breaker, Level 1-Presentation Mastery, Sep 22, 2018, BFComm TMC, Cassalu Coffee & Kitchen, Las Piñas City. Evaluated by Cristina Yung CC)


Have you imagined yourself as someone who is retired? Can you imagine yourself happily retired from the rat race? Now this isn’t a speech on how to invest for a huge retirement fund. But I’ll tell you what I experienced when I did retire in 2009.

When I retired from my old office, right at the outset, I felt so much freedom. Freedom from work-related stress. This was stress which contributed to my hypertension. And then there’s freedom from driving-related stress especially in heavy traffic. Nowadays, the only driving-related stress I get is when I come to Las Piñas to attend a twice-a-month meeting called Toastmasters. Traffic can be so bad.


TWO EXPERIENCES (move right)
There were a couple of experiences in my retirement that I did not expect.

One was the realization that old habits and old office routines are hard to shake off and remove from the system. Believe it or not for the next 5 years or so, there were many times that I would re-live these work routines in my dreams! Yeah! I would even dream that I’d be driving to the office and parking at the car park. It was a surreal experience.

The second was the realization that my friends at the old office were slowly disappearing. Of course there’s Facebook to remain connected. But because I was already unemployed, it’s like that I’ve become a mere acquaintance to them. Maybe I didn’t have much value to them since I was unemployed. Sad, I guess that’s life.

TWO ADJUSTMENTS (back to center)
But I’m so glad, I did a couple of things in my life that allowed me to adjust to these experiences! Do you wanna know what they were? Number 1 was to keep myself busy. And number 2, was to strive to continue to learn.

(move left)
Five years after my retirement, I joined our parish church’s ministry as a lector and today I still am. In the process of serving in the ministry, I gained so many friends in church who were also church workers. And since many in our community where I live belong to the same parish, I became friends with many in our community as well. These are people, who in the many years that I’ve been working, I didn’t even know or even get to meet or greet!

I was so surprised for instance, when I discovered that an old college professor of mine 30 years ago, actually lived down the street where I live. So one, keep yourself busy.

Two, continue to learn. That’s why I returned to Toastmasters in 2015. Because I felt I stopped learning. Not only do you learn so much in Toastmasters, where in turn you also become busy. And the more you get involved with Toastmasters in clubs, in areas, in divisions, the more you expand your network.


TWO REPLACEMENTS (back to center)
So these activities helped me transition better as a retiree. I no longer have the old routines in my dreams as they are now replaced by the new routines I have in my newfound busy life. Even when I lost friends from the old office, I gained new ones from ministry work and Toastmasters.

So keep yourself busy and be of service. Learn new things. Reinvent yourself and retirement may just be as happy as you imagined it. Toastmaster of the Day.