By Michael Karr MacNeill
Is Retirement Like Other Transitions? Not really.
Change and transition characterized my long and varied career in insurance, banking, commercial real estate, outplacement, executive coaching, and global business formation. Before each transition point, I carved out sabbaticals to ponder my next moves. For example, I spent a summer in Paris, a year relocating my home, and a year studying with a cultural anthropologist. Each break from routine gave me the time to plan the future and the space to indulge my curiosity and predilection to try something new.
You would have thought with a history like mine, I would have created a sabbatical to do a little planning before retiring. Surprise! Retirement just kind of happened to me. I finished a challenging coaching assignment with a senior executive who led a global enterprise. I felt l had nothing more to give to or want from the workplace. My brilliant business partner (and wife) was fully competent to take over the business I had founded, and had plenty of opportunities of her own. I didn’t think this through; I just halted my business development efforts and dove into relationship with my irresistible baby grandsons.
I didn’t take a sabbatical to plan my retirement because I guess I thought that retirement was the sabbatical. But it sure didn’t work out that way. After a year of just floating around with babies, I was diagnosed with cancer and began a treatment protocol that sapped my energy and enthusiasm for many months. A recent inventory of my life landscape included the death of most of my best friends, a reduced level of contribution, diminished contact with people and projects that interested me…but let me tell you again how much I love my grandsons.
What’s my point?
My energy is returning and I’m now in a new mode: Outplacement for the Soul.
Family and friends are still at the top of my list of contribution and satisfaction. But I need to once again carve out time to explore what I want to create next more intentionally. Why? Because human beings are creatures who seek meaning. And I need a structure, skilled facilitation, and a community of thought partners to help me dig deep to find the right meaningful endeavor for this next phase of my life. After my many decades of productive and satisfying enterprises, you’d think it would be effortless to jump into the next chapter… but it’s just the opposite. When you’ve climbed many mountains, it takes some creative thinking to find the right one to scale next.
My search for meaning led me to the skilled sherpas of Life Reinspired. (I actually didn’t need to search very far; my wife co-founded this innovative program for successful Baby Boomers who are looking to make their next chapter their best chapter ever). I guess, given all my experience, I’m a sherpa, too.
If you want some outplacement for your soul in a community of peers, think about joining us at one of our programs and upcoming retreats..
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