By Jim Dickens
Lori and I went to lunch with my awesome ex boss and his family a month ago. We were reminiscing and my ex boss’s wife asked a simple but deep question, “Do you miss it?” I did not have a simple but deep answer and have thought about it since.
The last kid has played her last game and I retired more than 6 months ago. The question, “Do you miss it?”, has been asked often in many forms. Aren’t you bored? So what do you do to fill all that time? You just need a break and then you go back to work! You’ve played since you were eight. Aren’t you sad its over?
Right before I retired an Uber driver told me he retired 6 months ago after selling his business. He found himself sitting on the couch and watching a lot of TV. He started driving Uber for something to do and to have more human interaction. He then said he was getting back into his old business. He like others thought that after 6 months I like him would be back at it. Two friends who retired had jobs within 60 days of leaving their old companies.
As further context, my wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our kids play sports for 21 years and November 3rd was the last game. We traveled twice a week from Labor Day on going to every game. Luckily, our kid stayed healthy, played extensively and thoroughly enjoyed her last season. In the process our relationship with her deepened and we had some great moments. We also connected with old friends across the country like Pittsburgh below. But it ended for her and us and tears were shed.
So how do avoid ending up like the ex high school football player, Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite or watching Oprah every afternoon scratching your belly wearing out the couch? How do you avoid just staying in your comfort zone and going back work again? I think there are lots of ways to successfully enter a next stage of life. For my kid and I it was planning an immediate next thing or set of things to do, she has a part time internship and I am getting involved with non profits. They fill the gaps that the end of soccer and work have left.
You can’t go back to your old school and do it again. Being a fisherman, I like the analogy of life being like a river. You can’t fish same water twice because new water is always arriving and the river is ever-changing. The season is over, I’m not going back to work, and the Ridgeline Tour rolls on.
Well we are going to visit friends in Naples, FL, and head to California wine country for Thanksgiving. I have entered three cross country skiing endurance races in Wisconsin, Idaho and Minnesota so training and planning is underway. Finally, I am becoming more active in three non profits, The Alliance for the Great Lakes, Junior Achievement and Trout Unlimited. The time is well filled. Lots of blog post content is upcoming.
Finally, the answer to the question, “Do you miss it?” is immensely but there is no going back. I’ll end with a quote my boss’s daughter eloquently shared from the fictitious character, Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am that I have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”