Non Believers

I have added Out West #1 to the Tour schedule check the sidebar web pages.  If you want to read about the first week of retirement keep going.

I have heard from some family and friends that they’re afraid of being bored or are uncertain what they would do if they retire.  They don’t believe in the promise of retirement.  I encourage those of you like that to work on getting out of your comfort zone and to think hard about what you could do with time and freedom.  Here’s why.

May 7th, the neurosurgeon released me to normal activity warning me that I am still healing and will have about 50% of the normal energy to do things.  I feel like a prisoner set free.  In the last 7 days, I have played 100 holes of golf, attended a Chicago Fire game, attended a charity gala and been out to dinner downtown connecting with neighbors, forgotten friends, workmates and current golfing buddies.  I was not rushed or time compressed and was rested and able to thoroughly enjoy all of it.

The East Coast Swing starts this Friday.  Looking forward to family, friends  and adventure.  Next blog will be from the road.

From the mouths of babes

IMG_3368The initial Ridgeline Tour set of events is posted on the side panel of this site.  Look for “East Coast Swing”.  Future blogs will be from the swing.  If you want to know more about my planning for retirement please read on.

To gain insight on how to retire, I non intuitively asked my children.   On Easter 2017, each stood up and gave me a 10-15 minute presentation on what I should do with the rest of my life.  Here are the results:

Kid #1- Here are your guiding principles: Pursue an intellectually stimulating and emotionally appealing area. Leverage expertise and skills. Be philanthropic but also be competitive and results-driven. Strive for greatest good for the most people.

Kid #2- Your passion is sustainability and clean water. Here are places to learn about it. Here are different technologies. Here are ways to join in as a volunteer, an employee or an entrepreneur.

Kid #3 – Remember this is retirement and you can find a new lifestyle. Perhaps you should work less and play more. Why don’t you re-establish and strengthen relationships with family and friends. Go do some cool things.

I presented my 2018 retirement plan back to my kids, Easter 2018.  Here are excerpts:

Goals: 1. Seriously plan and seek great experiences with family and friends.  2. Complete an investigation in clean water and build a plan to join in.

Daily Activity Structure:  2 hours mental and physical well being, 2 hours learning, 5 hours work and play

Accountability: Quarterly read out to the kids on progress against goals.  Next read out is 4th of July.

Perspective on a Bad Day

After a bad day at work or life, I would always say, “at least I’m not in a foxhole in Afghanistan” and move on with a good attitude.  I’m now going to change that to ” a week long stay in the Edwards neuro ICU”.  Here is why.
Felt awful in the middle of last week.  When my blood test came back, they said go straight the emergency room. Last Thursday night after getting to an ER room and while the doctors tried to get a central line into my jugular I went into a seizure.   I awoke in the Edwards Hospital ICU, Friday 1 AM.  Bed bound and with a screaming headache, I dearly spent three more days and nights. In the last 2 weeks, over a week has been in ICU.

Needless to say I missed going to Cleveland last weekend to celebrate my daughter’s 21st. We’ve made a rain check in May.  So I am convalescing until May 7th when I expect to be cleared for activity.   Next Tour event is Chicago golf. I will be playing every day from May 7th to 17th and have openings.  Let me know if you want to join.

I’ll post another blog on the 2018 plan and share a calendar of events soon.

What’s with the name?

For those of you following my health, here is a final description.  The tumor was benign and I should fully recover without ongoing medication.  I will resume all normal activity by late May.  For those who want to follow or join the tour, read on.

In January of 2017, I sat in the Honda dealership enduring the long purchase process with the “finance guy” who once he got to the trade in said, “What are you doing?” and “Really, why!”.  Outside sat my high powered Audi S5 convertible, thrilling to drive especially on a warm summer evening with the stars coming out.  And, after careful research, I was trading it in for a Honda Ridgeline pick up truck.  The guy’s question was legitimate since my driving was mostly around my suburban town and into the city for work. I hadn’t “hauled” anything in years.  At the time I had no answer for the “finance guy”.

Today I understand the pick up was a catalyst to get me moving on. Many of my family and friends asked the same question as the finance guy and I had to start coming up with answers.  So I told them of all the new capabilities I might need for all new things I might do in the future.  I began seriously thinking about how I could find the time to do those things.  It meant I needed to retire.  Reason one for the blog name.

A  ridge line is also a hugely desirable topographical feature to those that drive or hike in uneven terrain.  When driving a ridge line, the road ahead is highly visible lacking surprise  turns and sudden cross traffic.  You can make good time without being white knuckled.  In hiking a ridge line, that visibility is also very helpful because it is hard to get lost and weather doesn’t sneak up on you.  Whether hiking or driving you get the best aesthetic view along the ridge line.

Some may argue the summit is the best view.  But a summit is a point or destination and a ridge line is a line or journey.  The philosophers are pretty clear on which one is better so Ridgeline it is.

Next entry will be after my wife and I go for a Tour stop in Cleveland. My daughter is turning 21 and we are taking her and her friends out to celebrate.  Combining an old convalescing worried dad with a bunch of 21 year college women on a Friday night has the makings of a train wreck.  I’ll let you know next entry along with Tour events, locations, and dates.




Brain Tumor Hang Up

After being employed every day for 35 years, I took the opportunity to retire April 1st.  However, between March 23rd and March 28th, I went from an eye exam to a golf ball sized brain tumor diagnosis. By April 3, I was scheduled for surgery April 10th.  After 7 hours on the operating table I spent 3 nights and 3 days in neuro-intensive care through Friday the 13th.  Recovery followed by retirement restart lie ahead.  But first a little perspective on what just happened.

The surgery I had can best be explained by a scene in the movie Total Recall, .  The subsequent recovery gave me an appreciation for those who endure prison and have had serious hospital stays.  Imagine awakening to a constant pain in your head such that you can’t open your eyes and tolerate light, a back ache from lying on a hard table, a sinus completely full but you can’t blow your nose, and your electrolytes and hormones constantly heading out of bounds making you feel cruddy.  Then imagine having EKG sensors all over your body, a catheter, a blood pressure cuff, blood clot preventing leg massagers, and 3 IV’s chaining you down so you are unable to change position much less leave the bed.  Finally, think about having to constantly give blood, take medication and pass neurological tests hourly not knowing how many days you need to endure.  Time stretches when you can’t sleep and speaking, reading and watching hurt. You lie in bed night and day measuring time by the testing and blood pressure cuff going off.  And you know what, lots of people have much worse hospitalizations and incarcerations.  Those people are truly tough and I appreciate that so much more now.  And most do not get the support I had.

My wife came with me the morning of April 10th and stayed until I left the evening of the 13th.  She waited on me hand and foot, acted as an advocate, carefully facilitated care between all the doctors, nurses, and technicians and tolerated my intolerance and rudeness.  Friends and family provided emotional and culinary support.  My only and best brother flew out from Philadelphia to help me home and begin my convalescence.  I now know how much this can mean and how even small kindnesses can bring you to tears.  And you know what, people have far more hardship with much less support.  It makes you appreciate the people in your life and consider your fellow mankind.

At the end of all of this, I am even more convicted in my plan for retirement.  Having validation makes the effort of careful planning worthwhile.  In fact a year of planning that I’ll tell about in my next post.  I’ll be interested whether you think it’s a good plan and all comments are welcome.