So, two months into retirement and I finally got so busy, I had to start fine tuning. Those who know me well are probably not surprised at this. I wanted to stay busy and busy I got. Last night I decided it was a bridge too far to go to a breakfast meeting this morning that was something “nice to do” but not “critical to do.”
As a result, I am sitting here this morning at the computer, relaxed and with a day that I am looking forward to, rather than on the way to a meeting. I suspect I will need to do some of this fine-tuning regularly along the way as I am just not wired to sit around for large stretches of time and that will result in my overcommitting periodically. I am sure this has never happened to any of you reading this! In full credit to Tammie, she has regularly asked me if I was going to take a day off in retirement. I suppose that she is right that I have to take off more than just January 1st!
Everything I am involved with, I am really enjoying and so much of it is new that it is really energizing. It is crazy to think that some of the activities I am involved in will be done soon. The financial literacy program I am leading at church has only two weeks to go and it has been really fun and rewarding, but that will open back up Wednesday nights for me. I have met a lot of new people through this program and have built some new relationships that will likely endure beyond the program, and hopefully have helped some people along the way. My two board roles are now in full swing. They are very different from each other and both intellectually engaging to me in different ways. Good thing I am an avid reader as both require a lot of reading, which is something I knew from the start.
My university teaching is going extremely well and is very rewarding to me. I think my 30 students are starting to figure me out and I find that I look forward to seeing them every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 am. I am spending considerable time away from class connecting them to the business world, looking at resumes, doing mock interviews and just being available to discuss a variety of issues.
My cancer patient advocacy continues on a one-on-one basis with a total of 12 people now that I have mentored in some way as they start the journey of going through bladder cancer treatment. I have also worked with the U of M to get our bladder cancer support group essentially planned out for the next 12 months. The annual bladder cancer walk is coming up and I have once again opened up my team page, but am still early in the process of recruiting walkers and supporters.
So the fine tuning will likely continue, but I two months in, I am energized and enjoying this thing called retirement!
A Boomer in Transition (and I almost forgot, a self-declared master chef in training)
For the last week or so the Mother Theresa poem titled “Do It Anyway” has been on my mind. I am not exactly sure why or what triggered it, but it did inspire me to read it to my class. They had not heard it before and I believe it is a powerful and inspiring message as well as a call to action.
If you have not heard it before or read it recently, you can Google it, but it starts with “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.” There are ten of these in the poem. In the last few months of my full time career, I was asked to speak on several occasions about lessons learned, reflections on my career, words of wisdom or some other related topic. I had given this a lot of thought as it was very humbling that people would think I had something important to share and that at least some people wanted to hear it!
After reading through Mother Theresa’s poem (and she definitely had something important to share), I decided to take a few of my lessons learned and put them in the same format. For whatever they are worth, here they are:
*Sometimes people do not want to hear what is in your heart. Share from your heart anyway.
*There are people in this world who make little or no attempt to add value to it. Add value anyway.
*You will often be tempted or encouraged to fight every battle that comes your way. Learn to lay down your arms anyway.
*When change is thrust upon you, your tendency may be to resist. Adapt to change quickly anyway.
*There will be days when you won’t feel like being easy to work with. Be easy to work with anyway.
*The world will want to define you, own you and mold you. Be authentic anyway.
It took me a long time to learn some of these lessons. Many are still a work in progress as are many more that I could have included here. Do It Anyway is a call to action at any age or life stage and in retirement, there is no other time to do it anyway than now.
A Boomer In Transition
One of the big surprises to me is how easy and fast it was to transition into retirement. Several who have gone before me told me this was going to be the case, but I guess I did not quite believe it for myself. They were right!
For me, the transition has gone smoothly, because I knew myself well enough to know that I had to have a plan. So, on my first week of retirement, I knew that I had several activities lined up so that I would not be looking at myself in the mirror wondering what to do now.
Specific things that have been an easier transition than I imagined:
* Going from having a lot of responsibility and in a high level leadership position to being in charge of the dog. A few people did tell me that this was a little bit of a transition for them; it was not an issue for me at all and probably was an indicator that my identity was not completely wrapped up in my job.
* Going from putting money in our portfolio for 30 plus years to taking money out of the portfolio to live on. I was certain this was going to be a transition for me. I thought maybe there would be a tendency for me to more frugal or less generous with money. The opposite has been true. I feel more generous and I am no more frugal than before (however, some would say that it was likely not possible for me to be more frugal).
* Starting a lot of new things, like teaching every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 am. Once again, this turned out to be an easier transition than what I expected and I am really enjoying my 30 students!
A Boomer in Transition
On Friday night of this past week, my classroom looked like this:
This was cooking class in Stillwater. I learned how to prepare four different fish meals. It was a lot of fun and something that I have been talking about doing for a long time. One of my stated goals in retirement was to do more cooking and to learn how to cook healthy meals. I am now armed with some new fish recipes to add to my new Good Housekeeping 400 Healthy Meals cookbook and have no excuses!
Tomorrow my classroom will be at Bethel University, where I will have 30 students in my Investments Class. I have spent the better part of January getting ready to teach this class and am ready to go! Next week sometime, I will post a picture of that classroom.
I have always considered myself a lifelong learner and just a month into retirement, I am finding myself to be in the roles of both student and teacher.
Ok, I suppose I better watch a few minutes of the Super Bowl, yawn – strike that, there was just an interception . . . and here comes the commercials!
A Boomer In Transition (and in the classroom)