My pre-retirement career:I spent 3+ decades as an entrepreneurial, community-based, non-profit leader, creating opportunities of people and communities to thrive, both in the world of urban at-risk youth (Greater Columbus Youth for Christ), as well as highly successful business, professional and government leaders (The Gathering/Columbus & Rela Leadership). Those opportunities allowed me to engage and deliver best practices people across the entire spectrum of socio-economic, education, religious, political and ethnic categories.
Three ways I spend my time in my ‘next’ chapter:#1 – I am not retiring. My new full time pursuit is pursuing my new full time pursuit. My entire career has been “doing what I love,” so there’s a sense in which I’ve never had a real job. I’ve always pursued my passion and my purpose through my work. I am pursuing those opportunities that will allow me to leverage my extensive background in community engagement, philanthropic advocacy and leadership development. #2 – I’m reading and reflecting on the writings of, community development expert and apostle, Dr. John M. Perkins, “Let Justice Roll Down,” in addition to the contemplative writings of Richard Rohr, “Falling Upward.” #3 – I’m listening to God, family, friends and trusted advisors, and talking to scores of people in pursuit of my “What’s Next.”
What I love most about retirement:I have time at the moment to fully focus on myself, in the most positive of ways. I am using it to continue to grow and learn as a person, husband and father.
My biggest challenge with retirement:Being one of “those type A personalities,” not knowing what my next career looks like is my biggest challenge. I want to be able to give all of myself to something much larger than my capacities, which will allow me to leverage the time, talent and resources of others in order to create opportunities for people and communities to thrive.
What I did to prepare for retirement:I’ve been a good listener most of my life. Therefore I prepared for this transition by having a good understanding of my identity apart from any job or career. Plus, a large part of life is about living out one’s purpose, and retirement, in that sense, is never an option.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I spent 30 minutes reading to my 18 month old grandson, and realized there is nothing better in life than spending simple, quiet time with those you love most.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:My most recent book: “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,” by Richard Rohr.
My future:The future is unknown, and yet the future really is the present. The present is all we ever have, so I am attempting to experience each moment and each relationship to the fullest right here, right now. Now that being said, I am pursuing new career opportunities that will allow me to thrive in the areas of my purpose, passion, gifting and relationships.
My advice for those preparing for the transition from ‘now’ to ‘next’:Do one “healthy” thing for yourself each day. Do 10 loving things for those you know and those you don’t know, every day as well. The only way we get and remain healthy is to give ourselves away in service to others. And remember, “Seek first the Kingdom of God……and all things…..all things will be added to you.”