Unchained and Liberated

Over this past weekend my daughter, Austen, made a decision to delay her entry into her career. After 4 years at USC Thornton School of Music and after another year+ for her Masters degree in Music Education, she turned down several teaching offers. Instead, she will continue her role as co-song writer and keyboardist with an up-and-coming band (Jessica’s band); she will continue to maintain her personal blog; and she will join a gym, hoping to get into the best physical shape of her life. For her, the act of making that decision was anxiety provoking, but the subsequent feeling was one of liberation.

bigstock-Escape-Route-12535709As I watched my daughter struggle with this decision, it occurred to me that today’s baby boomers and today’s young college graduates are not so different. We are just reverse images. One group is struggling to step onto the career conveyor belt and the other group is struggling to find a way to step off.  In the course of a person’s work history, those are two crucial junctures.  With further reflection it occurred to me that my daughter’s decision and the baby boomer’s decision require the same […]

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Late Night Blues

Do any of you ever have days like my day today? I was up early to complete two work assignments; I had three physician panels before my scheduled workday had even started; and then I had a day of nonstop work. Businessman Seated at His Desk With Face in HandsWhen I sat down for dinner and reached for the glass of wine, I felt like pulling aside the whole bottle. I didn’t. Why not? Because I had two additional charts to review after dinner, each taking well over an hour. Why? So I would be well prepared for tomorrow’s work.

My specific activities do not really matter. I am great believer that we are defined by who we are, not by what we do. But what did I just do? I worked before my regular work hours. I worked all day during my regular work hours. I even worked for two hours after my regular work hours. So, how many of you fall into the same trap? Bringing home some work when you should be leaving it behind?

If I died tonight, would I want to relive today? That […]

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Post 4th of July Blues?

Did you survive July 4th? Like my cohort, did your neighborhood party together like in your youth? Or did you all go your own separate ways? When I grew up, on a street much like Randy’s neighborhood, we did not even have any divorced families, let alone an adult who lived alone. bigstock-Celebration-16441379Today we have 50% divorces and 27% of people who live alone. Truly, it is a different neighborhood. In some ways it just may be less simplified, more complex world. Which is why we truly need to celebrate those holidays like July 4th and thank all those heroes who helped to give us our independence – and a chance to face these challenges with a sense of freedom.

Randy cited one song; I would like to share another. Do you know the song (your kids will know it!) by the band, Family Of The Year? One of their songs, titled “Hero”, offers the line: “everyone deserves a chance to walk with everyone else.” In today’s world, maybe the modern hero is someone who makes the effort to walk […]

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Safety Not Guaranteed

Have any of you seen the movie: “Safety Not Guaranteed”? It’s one of those quirky Indie films with young, little known actors. But I like its premise. A young man places an ad in the newspaper, asking for someone to join him on time travel. He highlights that the person’s safety is not guaranteed. To travel back in time? To have another shot at life? Well, would you do it?time travel

Surprisingly, I am not certain that many of you would take that gambit. Would you want to go back to the 60s? Or 70s? Would you want to relive those growing up years? For me, the key lies in our future, not in our past. So, why am I mentioning this film? Because it takes the same personal qualities to go back in time as it does to go forward in time.

In this movie (without disclosing the plot and ending), it takes these young, scared individuals three vital features: a desire to change their lives, the courage to make the attempt (with the risk that they may be vaporized), and a relationship with at least one other person. Without those three […]

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A Tale of Two Dogs

I was talking to a neighbor the other day about my dogs. We have two standard poodles, a five-month-old puppy, Geordy, and our four year old, Ryker. (anyone guess their namesakes?) The neighbor asked why we chose standard poodles. I thought for a bit and remembered an experience while I was working as a vet tech at a pet hospital during college. One day stands out in my mind. A woman brought in a two-year-old standard poodle and asked us to put the dog to sleep. She stated that it was too aggressive, it couldn’t be trained, and she didn’t want it any longer. We were shocked. The dog was in perfect health and interacted with us just fine. We talked to the woman at length and tried to convince her to give him up for adoption, to get additional training, anything other than putting the dog to sleep. But she insisted and it was her legal right. She was convinced that even if someone adopted the dog, she would be liable if it bit anyone. She didn’t want to spend any more time, energy, or money on the dog. […]

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Ferris Bueller, Really?

Bueller car2Randy, my friend. You finally confess? You called in sick, claiming you were having a double hemorrhoidectomy? When you really just went out and had some fun? Did you drive a 1961 red Ferrari GT convertible? Did you grab a friend, like Cameron, and a hot girl (your wife, I hope) and hit the city? Actually, don’t tell anyone, but you were following my Boomer Survivor program.

Look what Bueller accomplished. He slipped away from things that he did not want (school). He avoided the people whom he did not like (the principal). He grabbed a couple close friends (his girlfriend and best male friend). And his followed his passions, attending a Cubs baseball game, dancing in a parade, and creating havoc. Now, think about it. Isn’t that a good program for a baby boomer?

Just compare the fundamental points. Did he move away from work? Yes. Did he earn any penny? No. But did he discover that less is sometimes more? Less of work and the drudgery of daily life can certainly lead to more. When we reach the baby boomer age, what is the best part? We do […]

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