It has been two months now since we became empty nesters and I am still getting used to it. Our youngest, Dan is in college, but only 4 miles away and we have two hostages to get him back on a regular basis: 1) His dog, and 2) His car.
Dan came back today to see his dog, having liberated his car earlier in the week while I was traveling. I was pretty tired this afternoon and seeing him and seeing how well he is doing put some spring in my step. We even did a little shopping, and I dislike (not going to use the hate word since my daughter works at a large retailer) shopping.
Becoming an empty nester was especially emotional for me primarily because I just figured out my relationship with Dan in the last two years. It took getting diagnosed with cancer to get it right and to focus on all the things that are great and wonderful about him and to build our relationship in love rather than in to-do lists. So having him back some on the weekend to see his dog (and his parents) is pretty special for an empty nester. I now have a better appreciation of how meaningful it is for my parents to see and hear from me as often as possible.
A Boomer In Transtion
How you show up the first several weeks on a new job is critical for how you will be viewed over the next several months if not years. On my first job out of college, I was the first one in the office and the last one out of the office and I worked like a crazy maniac for the first several several months on this new job. When I eventually found a more rational job rhythm later on, my colleagues and bosses still perceived me as having that work ethic I established in those first few months.
But ending well is also important because it will be how your legacy will be remembered and more importantly how you (me) will remember a career fulfilled. This is what I am focused on now, staying engaged, being helpful in every possible way I can and working on a seamless transition to the next leaders.
Yesterday afternoon, I just got back from San Francisco after completing one of my last business trips to that city. Here is a picture of me by the stagecoach in our headquarters lobby:
To positive endings!
A Boomer in Transition
For over 30 years, I have had some structure and routines in my life. Granted I have had a job where events occur everyday that were not on my calendar going into the day and that has forced me to be flexible. Yet, I know myself well enough to know that I need some structure in my day and week.
I just accepted an opportunity to teach a university investment class after retirement and I am looking forward to that for a whole host of reasons. First, I believe that I was being led to accept it. It was more than coincidental, and another sign from God that the person currently teaching the class is retiring at the end of this year. Second, I have a passion for investment education and it is one of the areas I wanted to spend more time on in retirement. Third, I am uniquely qualified to teach investments, having been immersed in this field for the past 30 plus years and having led a large and complex investment organization for the past 11 years. And fourth, I know have a place to go every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning during the Spring Semester!
One of the other revelations for me along this journey is that I need a place to go and do my post-retirement work. I used to think it was kind of silly when executives retire and they need an “office” outside of the house to go to. Now, I have two. One at the university where I will teach the investments course and another at an office complex very close to our house (walking distance). I was a little embarrassed when I met with the leasing agent and explained my need to have an office outside the house. She smiled a knowing smile and told me a story of a spouse of a husband who had recently retired who pleaded with her “get my husband out of my house.”
So, until next post, and with multiple places to go . . .
A Boomer in Transition
It is not lost on me that work can create our identity.
How often do people you are getting introduced to for the first time ask you “what do you do?” Culturally this seems to be how we are wired. Work often defines us and it is comfortable to have a good answer to the question of what we do.
I recently talked to a retiree who said he struggled with his lack of identity for the first two years of retirement as the realization sunk in that his identity was tied into his work more than he had previously understood.
I have thought about this and asked myself if this matters to me. Time will tell, I suppose, but usually when asked what I do, I give a vague answer something like “I work for a bank or I work in investments.” As I have reflected on this, I believe the better question is “who am I?”
I recently asked 5 people who know me real well to tell me what they think my personal brand is at work and to also give me feedback on my personal brand away from work.. It was interesting how consistent the answers were with everyone believing that I showed up as the same person at work as well as away from work. If this is true, then I should not be defined by my work, right?
My goal is to take who I am, with my strengths, expertise, experience and passions and let that help frame how I fill the three buckets of time that I described in last week’s post.
So, filling the buckets of time with who I am should lead to what I do as I continue the journey as . . .
A Boomer In Transition