Retirement Is . . . Extreme Sports!

Most of you know that in the “Extreme Sport of Early Risers”, I am competing at the Super Bowl level.  Maybe it is because I grew up on a dairy farm and I got into the routine of getting up early at a relatively young age.  Or could it be that I am simply wired to be a morning person?  Whatever the reason it is rare that I am up after 4:15 am.  Even in college, I ate breakfast with a group of farm kids who were the only people on campus and likely in the history of colleges throughout the world, who waited outside the food service building for it to open for breakfast each morning.  So you get the point, right?

Yesterday I managed to sleep in until 6:30 am, can you believe it?  I did not think it was physiologically possible for me.  There was also no guilt or shame associated with this “Extreme Sleep In (ESI)” that would have occurred had I been in my pre-retirement days.  The ESI event also did not disrupt my day or the events that I had planned for the day, because I am retired and like the lyrics of a popular “pop” singer declare “I can do what I want to.”

You probably noticed that this ESI event did not occur two days in a row.  That is ok.  I am not stressed about it.  I am sure it will take some practice.


A Boomer In Transition

Retirement Is . . . Going Where God Calls

I had an amazing thing happen today that I cannot go into details on because of confidentiality.  What I can say is that I believe God has put me in a situation where I am uniquely qualified to be able to pour into another person going through a challenging time.  I was so moved by this when I found out the situation that I cried for about 5 minutes,

A couple of things to note here – I am half-German, fairly stoic and rarely cry for that long.  In addition, I am an introvert and I just mentioned being “able to pour into another person”, hello?  that is scary language for an introvert.

I believe this is happening because I am really trying to follow God’s plan for my life and not my own.  A series of things had to happen to put me in this person’s life and i believe every one of them has been God in control.  Amazing.  And only possible because I followed God’s plan to retire at the peak of my career and do other things with my life.


A Boomer In Transition

Retirement Is . . . Trying New Things

Almost everything I am doing now is new.  Preparing to teach a new class, getting cancer support group launched, leading financial literacy course at our church, new board work, and learning to cook!  Oh, and I forgot to mention, rock climbing.


Speaking of forgetting, you can add this one to my list, yesterday I was working on my class curriculum using post-it notes to mark pages and eventually I lost track of my post-it note pack.  Last night, I found them in the back pocket of the jeans I was wearing!  This is relatively new, I used to be able to keep track of all my stuff quite well!  Not a big problem in the scope of life, I will admit.

As I mentioned in my last post, I also have the time for people.  The last two Wednesday nights, I was able to participate in Community Life dinners at our church, something that was difficult to do when I was on the road at least half of all Wednesday’s.  Spending time with my parents has been a huge blessing and now that my Dad has appropriate workout gear, I am posting this picture of him working out at the gym.


You can tell that he is enjoying being more active and is off to a great start with his new workout routine, adding time or machines to his workout almost every time we go.

So far, I really have a nice variety of new things I am doing, and it is stretching me in different ways that I never took time or had time for before retirement.


A Boomer In Transition

Retirement Is … The Gift of TIME

This is the third installment in my “Retirement Is” series.

Ok, this one is going to be a little more serious than the first two!  I am only 15 days into this thing called “retirement”, but it has already struck me that the gift of TIME is a big benefit.  What do I mean by the gift of TIME?  We all make decisions on how we use the TIME we are given and allocate it, likely unconsciously, into different buckets:  the work bucket, the sleep bucket, the family bucket, etc.  When you take out the work bucket and reallocate that TIME in retirement, that can really change what you can do.  Especially if that work bucket TIME was higher than the normal 40 hour workweek, like the 60 or 70 hour workweeks, all of a sudden a lot of time is freed up.  This is what I am finding out.

I have already spent 3 days this year out at my parents in Western Wisconsin.  This TIME has been a huge blessing as spending more TIME with my parents was one of my stated goals for post-retirement and I have not been disappointed in this decision.  In fact, my Dad has now become the new “gym rat” at the fitness center in town.  I will post pictures of him working out only when he decides to purchase some new fitness apparel (hint – an early birthday present idea).

One of my volunteer efforts launched this week as we had a great turnout for Financial Peace University at our church on Wednesday night with a lot of new people that I had not previously met.  Also, getting started with organizational work on the bladder cancer support group through the U of M, in addition to my ongoing peer to peer mentoring of newly diagnosed bladder cancer patients.  One of the guys I have been mentoring is having surgery on the 19th so I will be visiting him in the hospital during the week, a gift of time that would have been difficult to fit in had I still been working full TIME.

Spending TIME at Bethel University getting ready to teach my investments class in a couple of weeks.  I will be there a couple of hours today and will top off my Friday with some indoor rock climbing, something I had wanted to try but never took the TIME.


A Boomer In Transition


Retirement Is … “Now I’m That Person”

Second installment of my “Retirement Is” series.  Inspired by my drive back from Wisconsin today through snow, wind, and icy roads.  I am also supposed to give credit to my wife for coming up with the idea to make this my second blog in the installment (she might regret this as she has no control over the Publish button, kind of like having no control over the remote).

So I knew the roads were going to be bad, the weather folks were right and I had watched several weather reports this morning before I made the trek.  But I figured, I’m retired, and I have a four-wheel drive Chevy truck and . . . if it takes me half a day to drive one hour, so what!

On a couple of dicey stretches of road, I puttered along at about 40 mph, even though there was a long parade of vehicles behind me, and I thought now I’m that person that is holding up traffic!  The Sunday driver, the sightseeing driver, the Retired Driver.  That’s me.

And by the way, I am only listening to Country music now.  K-102 Minnesota Country both directions.

I think I transitioned pretty well into this retirement thing.



A Boomer In Transition,  “That Person”

P.S.  Most of the posts in this series will likely not have deep theological meaning, or much meaning at all, but hey give me a break, I’m retired.