I have reached the fourth quarter of life and I am ready for a strong finish. Quarters are 20 years long and I am hopeful for a long overtime period. So far the game has progressed as I might have expected. The first quarter I grew up,
the second I explored what I wanted to do,
the third I paid my dues
and now on to the fourth I hope to realize my dreams.
It sounds pretty straight forward but along the way you are alerted to those who lose their way or don’t get to finish. It is now as I enter the fourth quarter that I find the greatest reward which is knowing what I want to do. Sounds simple, we work all these years so that you can retire to pursue our life’s passion. The problem though is that many forget to discover what that passion is and even then many don’t ever truly pursue it.
It could be that I have oversimplified the game plan, yes it is a long and hard and the coach is really important. I have been blessed with a great team with a loving wife of 40 years and 3 great children. Many think they know the outcome by the fourth quarter and just accept it, our tired bodies might agree but there is plenty of inspiration to draw from. Your team needs you, pushing a little harder brings incredible rewards, victory is in your grasp. So how will I finish the game.
At the end of the third quarter I quit my job and prepared for the final quarter.
A year of serious backpacking and career diversification has set me up for a strong finish. My body is aging but it still has a lot of great plays left in it. Again, what I cherish the most is that I know what I want to do. I want to score as many points as I can. I want more memories to draw from on my future sick-bed. For many this metaphor translates to chasing financial security. Sure, I have worried about that but I think all is well. I am not worried about money because I know that I can live within my means. No debt, enough retirement income, but the peace comes from the wisdom gained in realizing that your quality of life is not tied to materials.
In six months I will walk away from a fairly lucrative employment situation and as I contemplate extending those opportunities, I think about the value of rewards that await. The opportunity to experience the wilderness beauty of our shrinking earth is my ultimate reward. Dreams of exploring the Rockies, the Sierras. the Cascades, Canada and Alaska excite my soul. Maybe even Scandinavia, the Alps or the mountains of Peru will be attainable. You cannot earn that reward, you must live it. I am so looking forward to a Strong Finish.
Our university has a special relationship with a retirement community, Friendsview, next to campus. Plenty of mutual benefit activity with our nursing program, tech support and foster grandparent program. We helped them build a computer lab 3 years ago and it has been a glowing success primarily for their residents to use email. I just met with their tech committee and the main discussion was about moving forward. Their situation echoed my thoughts on how computing is changing. They have tried to offer computer classes to their residents, but thanks to our societal Microsoft central attitudes they ventured down the MS Office App course path. And guess what – no relevance anymore. So we had an enlightening conversation about carefully introducing their residents to FaceBook. Unfortunately there is great fear about venturing into that dangerous world of the Internet, however, I do think the time is right for them. Their community participates heavily in activities designed to improve memory or anything that helps to keep mental capacity sharp. You know, I would bet some farming responsibilities in FaceBook would be quite beneficial as an activity. But of course a simpler way to connect with their kids is the real draw, but reconnecting with old friends is why FaceBook is booming with our older population.