This summer our family traveled to London and Paris on what would be our last big vacation during my full-time working career.
The vacation was a great for a lot of reasons. First of all, it was a vacation in it’s truest sense as we were all disconnected from our jobs and from essentially everything except each other. As a bonus, the weather was perfect and we got to see and do everything we wanted to during the vacation.
For me, the vacation also provided some early morning time each day to pray, to journal, and to reflect before we ventured off on each day’s agenda. We stayed in a great hotel near Trafalgar Square with a comfortable lounge on our floor. This became command central for my mornings in London time.
In March of this year, I decided that I was going to retire at the end of this calendar year. I gave notice to my boss in early April and the transition to retirement started to become real. I am still fully engaged at work and very busy, so these early mornings in London gave me my most concentrated time to think and reflect since I made the decision.
One of the primary catalysts for my decision to retire now was a diagnosis of cancer that was given to me (some gift) on November 7, 2012. After a surgery to remove a tumor, surgery to install a port, 3.5 months of chemo, surgery to take out my bladder, create a new one, a 3 month journey with blood clots in my lungs, physical therapy, and surgery to take out my port, I am happy to be cancer-free! But this journey was a wake up call that life can be short, it is uncertain, and there is more to life than working 60-70 hours a week and spending more time in airports than with my family.
Yet, this simply marked the beginning of the transition from a career baby boomer to a career something else. During the mornings in London I journaled nearly 30 pages and realized that for me retirement will not be playing golf every day (I am a horrible golfer anyway). But retirement will be staying intellectually engaged in some part-time way in a field I have enjoyed and spending more time with family, church and some newfound volunteer passions.
I feel like I need to be a good steward of my time and my talents in this next stage of my life. Right now I have well over a dozen ideas of areas I want to pursue, but I am being careful not to jump into too many of them until I find the ones that are best for me to pursue. This is an exciting time, it feels like a new beginning, and while it is important to me to finish well my work career, it is also important to launch myself into my new career well and with the right activities.
Stay tuned for more . . .
A Boomer in Transition