Today, I am officially moving on to what the British call “Third Life”.
After 40 years of practicing Architecture, Real Estate Development and Project Management, today was my official last day of work as a Project and Operations Manager for a large A/E firm. This is the day I have been planning for.
First Life, from birth to early adulthood is a time of wonder and play, but without much wisdom. I had a great childhood, but my adolescence was awful. I survived and found myself in college with a plan and lots of new friends!
Second Life was a time of work, obligation and responsibility, developing skills, means and wisdom. I finished college, started my career, married my wife, adopted our wonderful daughter and designed and/or managed the design of a lot of real estate over the years. I also discovered that some of the best work is volunteer work, and I am very proud of what I was able to contribute in my free time. Who knew I had a talent for trail design?
Third Life can be a time of wonder AND wander, with the wisdom to know oneself and how best to use one’s remaining time on earth. I pray God will grant me the time to do more good. With COVID still dominating things, our biggest wonder is when will we will get to wander! For the time being, we will just have to chill a bit.
It has been a weird time to retire. I have not seen the people I work with since March except on Zoom, but my boss promised me a going away party once we can all gather together again. Hopefully, 2021 will be better for all. I am already looking forward to some possible road trips (and that party) in the spring.
My first goal now that I have a lot of time on my hands is to recover much of the fitness I have lost over the last five years. (Work was literally killing me and I could not push away from my desk job fast enough). I miss being outdoors and hope to be seen again on the local trails soon.
I also have some plans to read more, write more and perhaps even resume the watercolor painting I gave up in my early twenties. Since there is still half of America we have yet to see, we are planning some road trips. As I have written before, I am looking for things to write about! If the world gets back to normal, maybe one or two more trips overseas are in the stars. And lucky for me, I am blessed to have my wonderful companion and best friend Angela, by my side. I would not have survived second life with out her! I look forward to our third life together.
First and second life were great, but it ain’t over yet! “Third Life”, here we come!