Early Mornings and Gratefulness

I have already established that I like early mornings, yet one of my challenges with early mornings is that I am wide awake and ready to go!  I am one of those people who is “instant awake” with no help needed from any caffeinated product.  As a result, it is sometimes difficult for me to just sit and be still.  This morning, I am forcing myself to do just that.  Sitting here by the fire on a quiet and dark morning with the rain gently falling, I am reflecting on a week that was busy, but highly satisfying.

Today marks 10 months into this journey called retirement.  So far so good.  Actually better than good.

This past week, I played a very small, but very satisfying role in helping my TA land a job in my old team at Wells Fargo.  He called me right after he got the offer, and I was probably just as excited as he was.  It is a really rewarding experience to be able to help out young people and I see now why teachers feel such a great sense of purpose and satisfaction in making a difference in their lives.

This week also marked the first time a parent of a student attended my class.  The student is from out of state,  his Dad was flying in this week to watch him play hockey this weekend, and he was wondering if he could attend class on Friday.  According to the student, I was the only class he asked his Dad to join him in.  This was also a great feeling and validation of sorts that God has me in the right place doing things that make a difference.

The week also marked conference calls or events/meetings in all 4 of my non-teaching activities – two for-profit boards, one non-profit board, and the cancer support group I lead.

And to top it off, I got to spend time with my Dad, taking him to the fitness center and then a fine meal at his favorite cafe where he his kind of like Norm in the TV show Cheers, where everyone knows his name.

This morning, I am grateful for many, many blessings.

Dean

A Boomer In Transition

Three Men and a Baby

We might get snow later this week, yet road construction is still taking place in Minnesota and I am waiting, yes waiting, still waiting, for the urgency to get these projects done!  I am particularly interested in one that I have been monitoring all summer, a key road near our house that has been closed most of the summer with very little measurable speed to draw the project to conclusion.  I walk our dog by this road about 3 times a day, so I am a self-declared expert on this project.  My code name for this project is:  Three Men and a Baby.

Why Three Men and a Baby?  About 6 in the morning, somewhere between two and four men show up to work on this road.  So that I am not accused of exaggerating, I will take the middle of the range and say that 3 men show up on a particular day at about 6.  So where is the baby?  I don’t know.  I have never seen the baby.  I have never heard the baby.  However, I must assume there is a baby on site because I never see more than two men working at one time.  The only explanation for this is that one of them must be taking care of a baby.  I think all summer long was Take Your Baby to Work Day in Minnesota.  I might have even read about it in the local paper . . . or maybe I dreamt it!  I am retired you know.

Anyway, I am patiently waiting for the road to get completed.  In China, this would have been done in two weeks max.  I am hoping that snow in the forecast will ramp up the sense of urgency and keep the baby at home.

Disclaimer:  I am not an expert on this topic.  I can barely change a light bulb on a good day.  So take this story with a grain of salt, but not more than one grain, cuz we are going to need it for the roads pretty soon.

Dean

A Boomer In Transition

 

Real Books . . .

So I actually went to a bookstore today and bought real books, not non-fiction books, but physical books!  Believe it or not we have the technology to produce real books that you can touch!  It has been a while since I bought a real book, having adapted a while ago to “downloading” books and reading on an electronic device. In case you have forgotten, here is what real books look like:

IMG_0787

Isn’t that crazy!

BTW, you will notice a new Vince Flynn book.  That is not a mis-print. As many of you know Vince Flynn passed away from prostate cancer  in 2013 and Kyle Mills (a very good author in his own right), was asked by the family and publisher to continue the Mitch Rapp character developed by Flynn.

Please, no cards and letters, texts or emails, until I finish these two “real” books and start acting like a true retiree!

Dean

A Boomer In Transition

p.s. I lost my Fitbit today walking the hound, so those tracking my step count will have to take my word for it, rather than relying on technology.  “yes, I walked a good piece today, probably ’bout 12 lengths of the corn field in our back 40.”

 

Like A Toddler

Toddler’s usually measure their age in months, so do cancer survivors.

This week marks my 30th month of being cancer-free!  Like a toddler, the last 30 months have been filled with many lessons and several milestones.  For example, this week was the first time I was able to do an unassisted hand-stand pushup.  Like a toddler, I was surprised when it actually happened!  Like a toddler, I may even boast that I could be the only person in the world without an original bladder who can do this.  When something good happens in the life of a toddler they don’t worry about fact-checking, they just declare it!

Like a toddler, the last 30 months has been a time of learning about myself.  I am learning, and often re-learning to live each day as a gift from God.  I am learning, and often re-learning to trust God’s plan for my life.  Neither of these are easy for me as I would rather worry about tomorrow and make my own plans, but like a toddler when I fall down I get up.

And as the lyrics in the contemporary Christian song, The Stand declare, I am learning to live life with hands high and heart abandoned, definitely like a toddler.  Just ask my family how much “people” stuff the introvert has been doing since retirement!

And like a toddler, I am not always successful, but I am learning to celebrate the handstand pushup milestones along this journey.

Dean

A Boomer In Transition

ROI

I have been reflecting the last few days on ROI.  In the world of investments and corporate finance, ROI stands for Return On Investment.  The company or the investor invests money and expects a good return on that investment.  Legions of professionals analyze it, fret over it, lose sleep over it, and try to achieve it.

As I am already in the 6th week of my second semester teaching, I am finding that ROI for me is not measured in money, but in time.  So far this week, I have spent 2 hours and 20 minutes in the classroom.  I suppose after-tax, after donut purchases for my class, and after buying lunches for business people I am bringing on campus that my ROI on that time is maybe $50.  But I also invested at least 9 hours this week meeting with several different students doing things like preparing them for interviews, connecting them to business mentors, connecting them to job opportunities and just talking about career opportunities that could be right for them.  ROI on this time?  Only time will tell.

For me, the only ROI I need is the joy in this newfound journey, which is deeply satisfying.

Dean

A Boomer In Transition