Retirement Reset

The last few months have been challenging for me.  The phrase “being retired does not mean a problem-free life” is true.  I think the first 18 months of retirement was so good, that I forgot that phrase.  I violated a couple of important rules:  1) To control and sometimes limit the flow of information and 2) To rely not on my own strength but on God’s.  I allowed myself to get too wound up about leadership issues in our country, in the workplace and in other areas that touch me.  One of the key principles of investing is to limit the flow of information so that your emotions do not take over, and I forgot that in some areas of my life.  I also got too busy doing too many things and once committed, there was not much I could do about it for a few months.  I believe that most of us go through seasons in our lives that require us to make attitude adjustments and course corrections and the last few months was a good reminder of this for me.

I have literally one more lecture this semester and then my teaching career is over.  It was not for me.  Just because you are good at something does not mean you should do it.  At least my evaluations say I was good at it, and in a lot of respects I liked it, but I did not love it. .  I believe teaching is something that you should only do if you love it.  Teaching, done right, is a lot of work.  I am not bashful about work, but in this season of my life, I want to work hard on the activities that I love.  I love mentoring students, I love board work, and I love mentoring other cancer patients.  These are the areas I will likely focus on in my third year of retirement, unless God has different plans.  I have a strong enough brand on campus, that my theory that I needed to teach a class to have access to students to mentor is no longer true.

Today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful that I have the opportunity and the flexibility to pursue the activities that I love.

Happy Thanksgiving!


A Boomer In Transition

2 thoughts on “Retirement Reset

  1. I appreciate your big picture perspective, Dean, which shines the light on your ability to say “no” to great things, but not necessarily the most helpful things. I just had this thought in processing your blog here.

    Jesus was also called “teacher” (Matthew 12:38, 19:12, 22:16,22:24, 22:36). What IF Jesus had not done what what God called Him to do, but instead gave heed to the larger voices and demands of the masses, to stay in that teacher role? I mean, His gifts were recognized even as a child. He confounded the wise.

    What IF He made His knowledge, his “brand” about the Kingdom of God, a formal role in the synagogue instead of 1:1 discipling of the 12 who would carry God’s message to the world? In the same way, God seems to be leading you away from your formal teaching role into a more personal mentorship one that has the potential to make a more profound impact than classroom instruction could ever have done.

    Anyway, keep asking the tough questions and sharing them here in Boomers in Transition. It’s helpful for the rest of too, who have a propensity to do too much in transitioning seasons like the empty nest. Your courage and insights shine the light on our own paths as well!

    • Thanks Paula! This is great additional perspective for me. As an aside, I have become sort of an “unofficial pre-retirement mentor” as several folks have searched me out to see how they can be active in a meaningful way during retirement. So the mentor thing must be my calling. Thanks for your ongoing interest in my journey!

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