Happy Thanksgiving

On my first Thanksgiving as a semi-retired person, I am thankful for many blessings.

First, my family.  They have been so supportive and encouraging in this transition from full-time work to a life that looks completely different.  In many respects, this transition has been smoother than I anticipated, largely due to the support of family.

I am thankful that God has provided a clear path for me in this next stage in life.  I realize that this does not always happen and sometimes that path is bumpy or takes a few detours before arriving at the place we are supposed to be.  This was not the case for me and given my lack of patience (still working on this), I am especially thankful for this detour-free trip.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful that I continue to be cancer-free.  I started chemo on Black Friday of 2012 and as a result Black Friday will forever hold a much different meaning to me than getting good deals (there were no deals on chemo, as my first chemo treatment cost nearly $10,000).

I am thankful that I followed the path that God provided.  It is one thing to have the great blessing of God providing a clear path, and another thing to follow it.  We still have a choice.  I would have anticipated, that in my first year of semi-retirement, that I would have been doing a lot of reading and writing.  I could see myself hanging out at bookstores and soaking in the atmosphere, maybe even working at one part-time.  Or doing something fairly easy like folding towels at the health club and scanning people’s cards as they come into the gym, possibly even getting to the point where I could scan with either hand.  None of these things happened.

Surprisingly, especially for an introvert, my path has been full of extrovert stuff.  Standing in front of a class 80 times over the last two semesters, talking to about 20 people via peer-to-peer cancer mentoring, leading a cancer support group that has been averaging 15 people, meeting with at least two dozen business connections over lunch, and meeting with several dozen students for mentoring are all activities that make an introvert run for cover.  Yet, this is apparently what I have been called to do, and it has been deeply satisfying and an incredible blessing.

I am also thankful for a break.  Having recruited a replacement to teach my class among other classes, I will take a break from teaching in the Spring.  Even though this work I described in the paragraph above has been very rewarding, I have not really taken a break since “retiring.”  So, I am thankful that it worked out that I can take a break this semester, slow down the pace, take some more cooking classes, and come back to teach in the fall semester as well as J-Term 2017.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!


A Boomer In Transition

Change of Status: Semi-Retired


This has been a very emotional week as I spent time on the phone and in person with my parents going through health issues.  My Mom is in pain and needs back surgery and it is a process to figure out how to proceed and where to get treatment, but good progress was made this week.  When I took my Dad to the fitness center one day earlier this week, it was a tough day for him.  I probably should have not even tried to get him there as he just did not have the energy to do very much.  It made me  sad to see him that weak and I shed more than a few tears thinking about it.   The good news is that it was just a bad day, with a poor night’s sleep the night before and a very busy “bridge too far” day of activities the prior day.

The week has also been marked by lot’s of mentoring students, two getting job offers, and then being able to celebrate those successes as I was probably one of the first to know.  I keep getting calls out of the blue with people or caregivers of people diagnosed with bladder cancer and I was able to help someone this week with lot’s of information on the disease and how to evaluate different treatment options.   In addition, I talked to a TV reporter who is doing a segment on bladder cancer and will be coming to my classroom next week to interview me.  As a result of all these activities, I am now saying that I am semi-retired, not retired.  It took me almost 11 months to figure out that I am not really retired after all, thus the change in status!

This afternoon, though my thoughts are of my son, who turns 20 years old tomorrow.  What an incredible blessing he has been and I look forward to celebrating with him this weekend.


A Boomer In Transition, Semi-Retired

Update on Three Men & A Baby

According to my various calendars, it is now November in Minnesota and the project near our house is picking up some momentum.  The past two mornings, there appeared to be as many as six men working at a time and no sign of the baby.

We have had an unusually warm last few days and this is giving the crew the opportunity to complete the project before Spring.  There is a new bike path along the road that is now finished and I walked our dog on the path for the first time yesterday. I was wearing my New Balance walking shoes with patented roll bar technology, the shoes that cost me more than two months rent for my first apartment post-college, and I have to say that the path is so smooth I had to check my feet a few times to make sure I was really walking!

Speaking of walking, it has been a really good week for my step count.  I have had two days with more than 30,000 steps each day and according to Fitbit, I earned some new badge for this feat.  Not sure what I will do with the badge, maybe I can turn it in to the shoe store for another pair of walking shoes.


A Boomer In Transition