kitgordon: the atlantic near st just (Default)
The third session of the class (which was held on a Friday, which meant I didn't have to go to work, but also didn't have to use a vacation day per my supervisor: hurrah) focused on issues of money and money management, and then on the multiple ways to volunteer. Mark Fischer, a financial planner spoke in the morning and provided lots of useful information; the keynote in the afternoon was Jim Scheibel, former state legislator and mayor of St. Paul. He has contributed a lot in the public sphere on both the local and national levels. Good conversations once again with tablemates during the session and with a different group of folks over lunch. One more session to go, also on a Friday. So in addition to the four-day Thanksgiving weekend this week, I will have had two additional four-day work weeks before and after. That's quite pleasant.

Things I didn't do over the weekend: I had planned to see a play (Richard II) on Saturday night and attend an informal Pro Rata play reading on Sunday night. But after the snowfall on Saturday, I decided I'd rather not go out (it was a bit icy and given that this was the first snow of winter, the drivers are always a little wacky). Bob was using the car on Sunday, and I could have taken the bus--the reading was at Common Roots--but I bailed and stayed in. I did get quite a bit of reading done: two chapters in _Master and Commander_ for this week's group read, a book chapter for the "Literature, History, and Memory" discussion group, and I finished the Patrick Ness/Siobahn Dowd YA novel _A Monster Calls_, which was very moving.
kitgordon: the atlantic near st just (Default)
Yesterday was the second day-long session of the "encore transitions" course; the focus was on issues related to health: physical, mental, spiritual as we get older and have made or will make a major life change as we leave full-time work behind. The presenters were all terrific and the information useful. It does feel strange to be "in school" again--I'm even taking notes. What's even more interesting is that as far as I can tell, no one there brought a lap top! I think even though many of the folks use computers on a regular basis--often both at work and at home--this series of events hasn't elicited the need to record things electronically. Rather interesting, especially since I strolled over to my local coffee shop this afternoon and it seemed like nearly every person there was busy with a lap top. I think the most significant moment for me in yesterday's class was when we were doing an exercise about "things that will lead to fulfillment in your post-career life," and I found myself wondering about whether moving abroad will make sense--not just financially, but in terms of starting over to develop friendships, etc. Not that my current friendships would vanish--but it's not the same when you're communicating over thousands of miles rather than seeing each other on a regular basis. For me at least, it's not the same, though I am certainly capable of getting involved in multiple ways and creating new friendships in a new place (as well as maintaining friendships over a distance, as I've done with a number of friends over time). This is definitely worth thinking further about, though the lure of living abroad is still very strong--especially in terms of easier access to travel to other nearby countries.
kitgordon: the atlantic near st just (Default)
Yesterday I attended the first of four day-long seminars called "Encore Transitions," which is an opportunity to plan for the day when I no longer work full-time (ideally that will occur sometime in May 2013). This is a structured way to look at issues related to this major life change. One of the speakers was travel writer Catherine Watson, who urged all the participants to look at the process as a journey and to document it with a journal. This will be my attempt to do so, with the subject also serving as a tag, so anyone who isn't curious can ignore the entries.

Yesterday's session was an opportunity to look at the past, the present, and the future and to explore the kinds of things we look forward to, what we might miss, and what we will be happy to leave when the moment comes. A surprising number of people were scare of the transition, a few weren't certain about what life after full-time work/career would hold for them. Happily I'm not in either group. While I will certainly miss my one-on-one contact with bright undergraduates, as well as regular time on campus--even when I can't get to most of the events I read/hear about--I foresee wonderful opportunities to be more actively involved in the theater community, to expand my volunteer activities, and to have more time to read (there's never enough!) and even to write, should the spirit move me.
I certainly won't miss University politics (there's enough of that in the rest of the world to keep me on my toes).

Whether or not we will pursue our dream of moving abroad, I know that I will have lots of activities to fill my days, lots of friends with whom to connect, lots of interests to continue to pursue. The people I met all were actively engaged in the day's events, which was a lot of fun. We shared most directly with folks with whom we shared a table, but there were opportunities to mix things up at lunch, during breaks, and during some of the activities. The participants included both University people and folks from the larger community--some coming a fair distance for the program. I look forward to the next three sessions.

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kitgordon

December 2014

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