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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The We Generation

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Have you noticed Hollywood’s recent movies about wise, older types who mentor younger people in need of guidance? Think of Sylvester Stallone in “Creed” or Harrison Ford in “The Force Awakens,” or Robert DeNiro as “The Intern.” Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, says it’s a case of “art imitating life.” He points to […]

Happiness Is a Choice

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Retirement Myth #9: Our happiest years are behind us. Not so, says Neilsen, the folks who rate TV viewership. “There is scientific evidence that people get happier as they get older.” The marketing data company points to a May 2016 survey, which measured self-reported wellbeing among American adults. On a scale of 1 to 10, […]

The Joy of Creating

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Seems most of my life I’ve been the recipient of others’ creativity: an inspiring book, a beautiful painting, a piece of music, and things God has made—a cascading waterfall or multicolored sunrise. Building this house has made me think of the joy of the creator. Did God smile when he saw the first man observe […]

To My Amarillo College Family

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I will miss you today. I know, no one misses teachers’ meetings. I can hear you teasing about it. “Oh, I just love teachers’ meetings,” said no teacher EVER. I’ll miss your jokes. And I’ll miss the contagious enthusiasm in your voices. A new semester brings it out. Despite the complaints and denials, you have […]