It's not a pleasant thought when I think back to three years ago. No, I wasn't going through any life threatening illness, and my family was healthy. The problem was in me...that I didn't feel I had a purpose. That sounds silly, but anyone who has retired after having a very successful career faces these demons.
I retired early, leaving my job after 31 years at age 55. My wife Tammie, our two youngest and I hit the road in an RV for a year. It was incredible. We've told that story elsewhere so I won't go into it, but it was a great transition initially after retirement.
After the RV experience, I took on the task of home schooling our two kids through high school. This was another rewarding task. But then...what? Tammie had started her Real Estate career 4 years earlier and the kids went off to college. I played some golf, mowed some grass, and twiddled my thumbs. Not good.
I know Tammie saw me spiraling into a depression of sorts. So, she did what any smart wife would do, she suggested I get off my a$$! Oh yes.
Yep, she asked me to start accompanying her when she was showing homes to prospective buyers. I had strict rules to follow. I couldn't give any advice, but I was expected to be "sociable". I was along for the ride--more or less.
It was fun. I can be sociable. However, I longed to be able to do a lot more with clients. Tammie suggested I get my real estate license. Sounds good, I said, and went through the schooling process. I got my license almost two years ago and I have purpose back in my life. I simplify here, but I think you get the idea. I was lost for a bit...then I was "found".
We often work together with clients, showing homes and going through all the crazy ups and downs of the business. I call her "the big cheese" when it comes to our work, because she's really, really good at what she does. I'm extraordinarily proud of what she has accomplished! I'm also incredibly grateful to her for giving me a push when I needed it most.
We are considering some major changes in our business in 2015 and have set some challenging goals. I know with the two of us working side by side we'll find success and balance between work and family in the upcoming year.
An entry into Sally Cheeseman's Defining Gratitude & Goals Contest