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Not a Good Week

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This has not been a good week. A friend lost his wife after a protracted battle with cancer; another lost her son in an unexpected tragedy. Some romanticize death, putting the best face they can on it, looking for meaning in what seems so meaningless. I don’t. Death is a tragedy. Always—at 8 or 88. […]

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Leisure: Fun Is What It Is

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According to Geoff Godbey, a sociology professor at Pennsylvania State University, “At the end of your life, what you’ve done with your leisure may be more important than what you’ve done at work.” To that end, researchers have written entire books on the subject (Stella Rheingold’s “101 Fun Things To Do in Retirement”); others (Dorothy […]

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The Leisure Fallacy

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Current research strongly condemns equating retirement with leisure. Marika and Howard Stone say that since many of us can expect to live another 20 or 30 healthy years, we are “Too Young to Retire” (the name of their bestselling book): Mary Catherine Bateson (“Composing a Further Life”) is more blunt: Extended lifespans contain “far too […]

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A Place for Leisure

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Just got back from a couple of days in Santa Fe and am thinking about leisure, which I guess describes what one does in Santa Fe. Seems that a change of location is sometimes necessary. Maybe because the workplace (right now that would be my office) reminds me of, well, work. Which is why, during […]

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Who Am I?

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“Am I still the person I have spent a lifetime becoming, and do I still want to be that person?” asks Mary Catherine Bateson in “Composing a Further Life.” Bateson says that identity crises are not only for teens but are “revisited in every stage of life.” That’s why she recommends reflecting on one’s past […]

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The Neutral Zone

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The “neutral zone,” according to transition expert William Bridges, is where I’ve been living for the last 229 days. It’s the period between an ending (my days as AC) and a beginning (the new dream, as yet not clearly defined). Bridges says the neutral zone is the “most tortured” and “treacherous” part of retirement. He […]

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Retirement Is a Beginning

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So I’m over 200 days in and it turns out retirement is not a destination but a transition. Which, according to William Bridges (“Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes”), means it contains not only an ending but a beginning. In fact, the former is necessary for the latter. “It is, after all, the ending that […]

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Joy Sustained Us

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It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Building a home on this little tributary canyon of the Palo Duro. Because building a house, like going back to school or starting an encore career, is a vote for the future. Everything you do (from foundation work to framing to trim carpentry) anticipates a better tomorrow. So […]

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On Building a New Home

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Don’t build a new home the same year you retire. Never. In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a stress scale to determine how likely people were to become ill because of traumatic life events (for instance, they gave death of a spouse 100 stress points, divorce, 73 points; getting married was a […]

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82 Days of Retirement

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This will be the last of these for a while. The blog, I mean. When we moved into the new home a couple of nights ago, we completed the first leg of this journey called retirement. What began euphorically with a great send-off from students and colleagues, quickly turned hard with the death of our […]