Monthly Archives: August 2014

Stay in Touch: Did You Make Enough Friends to Last a Lifetime?

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”  “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.” — E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web)
“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
— E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web)

Welcome back to Part 5/5 on crafting a remarkable Post50 Life. We explored Geography  of Place, Freedom and Career Arc Extension. Today we focus on Personal Intimacy & Health to reveal that a strong social architecture is the nucleus of a long, productive and healthy life.

“So,” I say to my husband as we enjoy sunset on the terrace of our newly constructed Panhandle dream home.

After two months in our chosen and well-loved ‘Geography of Place,’ we can count using one index finger the number of people we can call ‘friend’ – our architect.

“How many friends have you made this week?” I inquire.

The question lacks sweetness. We’d moved to a place where we knew no one. We needed friends and finding them was more effort than we’d remembered.

Soon we’d be on a corner with a sign, “Will you be our friend?” or scouting the produce section of Piggly Wiggly for foodies to be dinner guests.

Just because I’m more extroverted doesn’t mean my husband is off the hook. “Find some friends,” I say. “You need to help.”

Cigars, Scotch and a local bar was his strategy followed by golf, more Scotch and cigars.

Today my husband has more friends than I do.

Not ‘best’ friends. Not people you are tight with or give bear hugs to.

More like fist-bump people. (more…)

Posted in Craft a Post50 Lifestyle, Self-Management | 5 Comments

Expand That Career Arc! The Wonderful Work of Odyssey.

2014-02-01 15.05.52-2Welcome back to Part 4/5 on crafting a remarkable Post50 Life. We explored Geography of Place and Freedom. Today, it’s about being productive in our longevity. We move on to Career Arc Extension, the third of the Four Elements of Post50 Lifestyle.

The purpose of a Post50 odyssey is to discover what the next stage of our life will hold – to find out what’s ahead. The journey is a series of experiences that gives us knowledge and understanding.

At the threshold of finding ‘future work’ for the last third of life, expect to feel dizzy.

  • Should I continue my current profession? (Career success or ‘loving our work’ often makes this seem a good idea when it’s not.)
  • Should I begin to learn skills for a different  industry?
  • Do I have time to build a new career?
  • Why not be content with past career success and become a volunteer?

With longevity available, most of us are set to do some kind of ‘work’ through our 70s and 80s.

Spike Lee said, “As an artist you have to want longevity because longevity allows you to do your work.”

To label myself an ‘artist’ always seemed inappropriate and far-fetched. Maybe you’ve felt this way.

I don’t paint or sculpt. I don’t ballet or write songs. Actually I require professional help just choosing fabric for throw pillows.

But as I ended my transition, I changed my mind. I am an artist.

No higher artistic expression exists than creating a life.

I own my first fifty years and dare myself to crave more and more from my time left. I marvel at my stops and starts, successes and failures, good fortune and bad luck. I am an illustrator and designer who collects stories of my past merging them into a collage of pictures of a future – my future.

I create a life – mine.

It’s the same for all of us. The craft and design of your Post50 life – where a new working identity is vital – is your ‘art.’

Marvelous and a bit heady, isn’t it, to be an artist? We could do wild things with our lives.

Let’s temper that for now.

A carefree focus on ‘art’ can impoverish future wellbeing. And in my mind, the phrase ‘starving artist’ has no charm. (more…)

Posted in Craft a Post50 Lifestyle, Endless Careers, Productive Longevity, Reconstuct Retirement | Leave a comment