My sense of urgency for putting words to paper is heightened every time I hear of someone who passes away and “just retired in the last couple of years”. The cause does not really matter though unexpected medical conditions seem to be the most frequent culprit. Needless to say, having just gobbled down a handful of vitamins and a protein-rich, anti-oxidant rich, superfood enriched, gluten free smoothie for breakfast, I am giving it my best shot to make sure it doesn’t happen to me.
At the top of the list of people within my circle who died too early is my own father. Extremely hard working, dedicated, loyal and keenly focused, he clearly channeled much of his energy into the workplace. He chose to balance things out with mellow hobbies in his off time to conserve energy for his work. While I understand his rationale was to be a model employee, always bright eyed and bushy tailed for work, sharp and focused …a truly admirable commitment. I often wonder if there wasn’t something else he would have rather been doing in his spare time to let loose, get crazy and let off some steam even though my memory of my Dad was of someone always in control, never breaking character. I secretly wished that he may have had a juicier “bucket list” of activities for his retirement, like sky diving, bungee jumping or rappelling off the side of a mountain, but sadly we will never really know the answer to that. He was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months after retiring, and spent the next 18 months in treatment before the cancer got him at age 60.
Another example was a former manager of mine, a great leader who Continue reading