Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Friday, May 14, 2010

What’s Next for You?

Are you ready to graduate? Robert and Patricia Gussin thought they were ready to retire. Both had enjoyed successful careers as corporate execs for a pharmaceutical company. They had raised their family. They had survived years of mind-numbing commutes. When Robert reached the company’s mandatory retirement age, they began to invent themselves.

Patricia began writing novels. Robert also tried his hand at writing. This led to starting a publishing company. Then on a trip to New Zealand, they fell in love with the land and purchased a vineyard. Meanwhile, they spent quality time with their children and grandchildren. Banishing the word retirement, they decided that instead they had graduated – progressed with a focus on continuing to be productive. The result was a delightful book: What’s Next … for You? The Gussin Guide to Big Changes, Big Decisions, and Big Fun.

I grabbed this book on my way out the door for a planning retreat to once again try to figure out my life. I get so confused. I love the work I do and can’t imagine retiring. My husband, on the other hand, retired years ago and is content to putter. I have to balance my desire to continue building my business with the reality of my age and our stage in life. Until I read this book, I wasn’t able to make a firm commitment in any direction. It was exhausting.

I loved the zest for life these two show. It’s a happy book. They clearly love what they do – all of it. Their enthusiasm was contagious. And it gave me a new way of looking at my life. I don’t have to have a 40+ hour per week job. I can dabble in a variety of things – which is what I’ve been doing. Working. Going to school. Focusing on family. Traveling. Caring for Mom. I’ve felt so fragmented. After reading this book, I made peace with my life. I have a new joy, a new freedom, and a new direction. I’m more content than I’ve been in years. And the delightful result is that I’ve been more productive!

If you’re trying to figure out how to manage this season of life, may I suggest What’s Next…For You?

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