Tag Archives: Retirement

Like a Fine Wine

I’m writing this on my 62nd birthday.  That has no special significance, but if you’re like me, birthdays become more about reflection than celebration as the years go by.

Men who turned 62 during the year I was born were already beating the odds, as the average lifespan for men born just prior to 1900 was less than 50.  In 1990 my dad died at the age of 73, which beat the average of his peers by 23 years or so.  The Second World War and Korea took their toll on that group of men.

So, how long will I live?  Who knows?  Beyond the decisions we make in risk-taking and lifestyle choices, it’s mostly the luck of the draw.  How will I live?  That’s up to me.

My daughter got me the book “The Second Half” by Bob Buford last year.  The main point of the book is that if you look at life the way you might look at a football or basketball game, you really need to play both halves.  He describes and discusses ways to make the second half (or so) of life more meaningful and valuable.  A lot of what he talks about deals with using our skills and experience to make a positive difference in the world.

You don’t need to be retired to do that, and in fact starting early in thinking of what “second half” goals we have is a very good idea.

I’m still working, and plan to for some time to come, but it is true that I already have more time to get involved in things these days.  I just need to use that time more wisely.

While I do know of people who retired from work and embraced joyfully the art of relaxation, in general it seems that people who keep working – for profit or as volunteers – seem happier than people who don’t.

Nobody knows what will happen with the economy, or society in general, living as we do in such a tumultuous time.  Maybe we’ll all be trying to make ends meet until the end.  But, optimist that I am, I’m looking forward to plunging forward into whatever comes my way in the years to come, and trying to make my days worthwhile.

By the way: I think it is also worthwhile to spend some time on a recliner!


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Filed under 2015

Our Boy Brent

Remember two years ago when some young entrepreneurs started selling t-shirts that said, “We’ll miss you, Brent.”  They were, of course, referring sarcastically to the then just-departed (from the Green Bay Packers, not the planet) Brett Favre.  Since then, Brett has played one season for the New York Jets, and is in his second season with the Minnesota Vikings.

His departure from the Packers was unpleasant.  He retired, decided to come back, then decided not to come back, and eventually was not invited to come back.  Accusations and hard feelings ensued, and perhaps the most popular guy in Wisconsin history became seen by some as a whining ingrate.

Then he retired again, only to irk even more Wisconsinites by signing with the Vikings the next season.  And, he had a great season last year, throwing fewer interceptions than his long-time fans were used to seeing.  Then he didn’t retire, but thought he might. 

As this season has gone for him and the Vikings, he may be wishing he had retired.  Last year’s magic hasn’t been there, and while they aren’t a horrible team, they won’t likely make the playoffs. 

Not only that, but he has admitted writing some sexually oriented text messages to a female staffer when he was with the Jets.  It has been suggested that he also sent her photos of certain parts of his body, but he has denied that.

A lot of Wisconsin fans still support Favre.  Some have sympathy for him.  He looks pretty dejected most of the time, and not like the fun-loving character we came to know and love.  America’s hero has lost some of his sparkle due to the texting accusations, and for arguing with his coaches on the sidelines. 

My take on old Brett is mixed.  I admire the fact that he really likes to compete at the game of football, despite the fact that he has more money than he could ever possibly spend.  But, I also wonder if even he realizes that he would have been much better off staying retired, and earning millions more as a TV analyst.

Michael Jordan went back to basketball after retiring, and trying baseball.  He wasn’t the same player in his last years, and his second retirement was pretty anti-climactic.  I think maybe Favre missed learning a lesson from Jordan’s experience.

Again this year we all think it’s going to be Brett’s last.  Even he seems to know that people are tired of the drama that each training camp brings.  I don’t really care what he does, but I do, in this post-Thanksgiving season, want to remember with appreciation the many years of exciting football he gave us Packer fans while he was in Green Bay.  Short of committing a murder, nothing can take away those fond memories.

Happy Holidays, Brent.

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Filed under 2010