I am in a transition process heading toward retirement at the end of the calendar year. I have read all the “expert” talk about the importance of getting ready for this chapter of life. One of the key things they warn about is going from a job where you interact with others and “produce value” every day to very little interaction with others and minimizing that drive to accomplish something every day. In fact, I have had concerns about that myself over the past few months. My DNA says that we should be focusing on adding value in all we do. So, when I think of moving to a lifestyle that perhaps doesn’t foster adding “business value,” I do understand that it may take a few months to make that personal shift.
Earlier this week, I had a day off and my wife and I took two of our grandchildren to the zoo. We left early and spent a glorious morning watching the animals and trying to corral 5- and 3-year olds in the crowds at the zoo. We did have a great time. Afterward, we stopped for lunch at one of those places with an indoor playground. We just let the kids romp and play until they were done. Back home, we spent some time outside on swings, picking and eating blueberries, and taking a golf cart ride.
At the end of the day when my son-in-law arrived to pick up the kids, Neely, our 5-year old granddaughter came over to me and hugged my neck like only a 5-year old can do — tight and close. Then, she said something that changed my entire perspective on that next chapter of mine. She said, “It sure was a good day, Grandpa. I love you.” Then, she scampered off to get into the car. Immediately, I realized that my time for adding “business value” might be close to an end, but, I will have even more time to pour my life into my seven grandchildren and my wife. Life is good!
This also reminded me that we all need to be free to enjoy each day, especially those little things and those interactions we have with others. You never know when something you do or something you say might make a total life-difference to someone else.
So, I am more excited than ever for my next chapter. I don’t know all the things yet that I will be involved with, but I do know seven little lives that I will do my very best to cherish, enjoy, and positively influence. Everyone should be as blessed as I am!
Have a great and enjoyable day! Thanks for what you do to make a difference for someone else!