This was my Friday lunch spot at work.
An umbrella-ed table on a beautiful patio overlooking the football field. It was quiet, deserted, peaceful, and it made it really hard to return to my desk for 3+ more hours.
The intranet page for employees has a link called:
Top 10 things to do before you retire!
Of course, it links to a page with boring words like fiduciary, savings plans, risk, loss, fidelity, interest, etc.
I've got about five-plus years to go, but after working for what feels like 4-ever, I'm already thinking about my post-career life. So I decided to come up with my own top ten list for things I want to do before I retire:
- Enjoy the paycheck! Duh . . .
- Take a sick day without guilt! We are a loyal, committed group of staff, and we struggle through the day with the occasional headache, etc. Why? Why not take a day now and then for mental and physical rest and recuperation.
- Chat more! Seriously, step away from the computer and share a laugh with someone.
- Ride for the brand! This is a Wyoming saying that I love. It says to me, be engaged and faithful to the institution and its mission.
- Embrace routine! Ask an unemployed person what they miss most about having a job, and I bet they'll say the routine of working. There is something satisfying about having a schedule.
- Be a mentor and adopt a reverse mentor! Awww, those millennials in the work place. Love them! Watch closely, because their style, ideas, and influence are amazing.
- Shake it off! As Taylor Swift would say. Sometimes office politics feel like junior high.
- Find the good and praise it! This was author Alex Haley's phrase. I met Mr. Haley when I worked at The University of Tennessee, and he demonstrated this philosophy over and over.
- Give gifts! When colleagues go above and beyond to help me complete a project, I find a way to thank them with a small token gift. I'm talking about a pen, chocolate, cup of coffee at the Cafe, etc.
- Leave it in good order! When I finally give it up, I hope the next person is grateful to find the responsibilities easy to take over.
Writing the list for top 10 things after I retire is going to be a lot more fun!
This cow, standing with my son Ben and me, is Becky, the mom and founder of the nonprofit Live Awesome. She dressed up in support of a fundraiser last week. She said wearing the Chick-fil-A cow costume was on her bucket list. And it was the only item on her list, so now it is checked off. I love that--rather than having a long list of bucket items to worry about, how about creating, then doing them, one idea at a time.