Happy Thanksgiving!

One of the joys of journalling is being able to go back and read what I was thinking and experiencing in the past.  Two years ago on Thanksgiving, I was preparing to start chemo on Black Friday 2012.  No shopping for me.  But 7 hours hanging out with about 20 other people getting chemo, members of my family, and my new family – the oncology staff.

Going into this experience, I wrote in my journal on Thanksgiving 2012 some of these thoughts:

“Going into this Thanksgiving I am looking at it differently than usual.”

“Having been in excellent health  . . . has led me to take being healthy for granted.”

“I am thankful for family, church family, work colleagues, and friends who are already and will continue to support us through this journey.”

” I am thankful for medical professionals who know how to deal with cancer.”

“I am thankful for biblical examples like Habakkuk who are thankful when most would question why.  I am thankful that God is in us, with us, for us and on our side.”

“I am thankful for peace with everything happening.”

 

As I think about this Thanksgiving, the list is very much the same.  I am thankful for family, friends, colleagues, church, and medical staff.  I am also thankful for being cancer free, for being able to learn lessons from the journey and apply to my life.  I am thankful for my new friends who are still fighting cancer, but are receptive to the power of prayer and support to help the get through it regardless of the outcome.

Counting my blessings this Thanksgiving,

Dean

A Boomer In Transition

 

Living, Working and Retiring …from the Heart

After 32 years of working in the business world I am finally learning to live, work, speak, and now retire from the heart.  What do I mean by this?

As an analytical, data-driven person, it has been easy for most of my career to work and speak from my head.  As an investment person, this is generally a good thing.  However, in working with and dealing with people, working  from the heart is more impactful.  My cancer experience was a catalyst to work more from the heart.  To tell more stories from my own experiences, that come from the heart.  I am glad I figured this out eventually, better late than never, right?

This past week, I spent 4 hours onstage at our leadership forum speaking from the heart about lessons learned in my career and tips that this high potential, emerging leader group could use.  Initially, I was told to prepare a lot of data and information for this group on our business so they could better understand it.  After getting back from my India trip I asked to see the bio’s of the participants as I like to know my audience if at all possible.   I read through all 50 of the bios twice so I could make some personal connections with the audience.

One cool thing about the  participant bio’s is that they each wrote down what they wanted to get out of this forum.   I would say roughly 90% wanted the senior leaders speaking to share lessons learned over the course of their career.  So I essentially threw away a large portion of my presentation and script and spoke from the heart using stories and examples from my career.  The feedback I got told me this was the right move.

Colossians 3:22-24 commands us to work with all our heart and it would be a logical extension to believe that speaking from the heart is also in God’s plan for how we show up and operate in the work place.

 

Dean

A Boomer In Transition (from head to heart)

Out of India

Last week, on the two year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis, i boarded a plane for what would be the start of an 18,000 mile roundtrip journey to India to attend CFA Institute meetings and present at an investment conference.

I had been worried about the trip for several weeks as I knew this would be the most physically taxing trip post-cancer.  Apparently I had somehow let myself forget to rely on God to give me the strength to do this.  Well, thanks to family praying for me, God did give me the strength to do this and to do it well and to come back and not be completely wiped out.

On the last leg of my trip back home, the entertainment system on the plane was not working correctly and the only function that worked was the music function.  No movies for me.  It turned out to be a good time of reflection as I listened to a variety of music, not the normal 170 songs on my iPod playlist.

One of the new songs I listened to and really liked was Thank God for Hometowns by Carrie Underwood.  Even though the lyrics don’t exactly match up with these thoughts, I could not help thinking how good it feels to be coming home after a long journey.  And after an incredibly busy career it feels like coming home in this next stage of my life journey.  As I embark on this new journey I need to remember to rely on God to guide me to the right choices and to give me the strength for the trip ahead.

 

Dean

A Boomer in Transition

 

New Plates

Have you heard the phrase “got a lot of plates in the air”?

Well, two months until my retirement, every plate is a new one for me, literally and figuratively.  Here are the new plates in our house, the literal plates:

IMG_0355

I guess, after 30 years of marriage, it was about time we got some new plates!

The figurative new plates for me are starting to come together:

1.  Teaching a university investments class starting in February 2015

2.  Leading a FPU course at our church starting 7 days after I retire (I never said that I was going to sit on the couch and watch home shopping network).

3.  Starting a cancer support group (in March 2015)

4.  And hopefully getting on a fund company board, I have a second interview in 3 weeks for one opportunity.

I also have some writing possibilities, but nothing finalized as yet.  So, other than the writing, all plates will be new in 2015, but i am looking forward to the adventure and to see where this all goes.  This may sound like a lot of plates, but for someone who has been working pretty regular 60-70 workweeks for oh, about three decades, it is not as crazy as it might seem.

With new plates, I am still,

Dean

A Boomer in Transition