To Schedule, or Not to Schedule? That is the Question!


Sociologist Jean Potuchek wrote: “One of the biggest changes accompanying retirement is the change in how we use our time.  For most adults in full-time jobs, work schedules provide the structure that the rest of our lives are organized around, and freedom from those time constraints is the central dream of retirement. We imagine lives that will be simultaneously rich and relaxed, full without the stress of our work lives. But this freedom can be a double-edged sword; it can leave us feeling unmoored.”

Will you be THE SCHEDULER –


using pen, paper, computer, and phone – filling all your calendars with lunch, travel, classes, and volunteer work? Monday 10-12, Tuesday 12-1, Wednesday 10-12 and 12-1, etc. This is fun until it’s not fun anymore because there’s simply too much activity every day. (In fact, isn’t that why some of you retired?)


Will you be the GO-WITH-THE-FLOW type –


sleep til you wake up, do whatever the day feels like when you feel it, be spontaneous? Choose that sweet thing to do on the day you want to do it?  This seems fine until you end up feeling disappointed in your choices, sitting around watching TV, and feeling angry that your kids haven’t called.

OK – so what’s the answer?

I believe you can have it both ways!  You can have a schedule that helps you get up every day, AND you can also allow for a little spontaneity. I believe you can open yourself up to doing new things and meeting new people without being overly scheduled and getting overly tired.

But how do you figure it all out?  And can you do it by yourself?  Retirement is a time of huge transition.  You need to reconnect with who you are now.  After all, you DESERVE to:




Working with a Retirement Coach gives you support as you think about your real priorities and how you can create that healthy routine for what brings you joy and fulfillment.  After all, isn’t that what we all want?

Let’s talk.


A Note to Dads about Their Daughters


Father’s Day has come and gone, and  I was reading somewhere that many teenage girls gave their dads this tee shirt.  Sure, it’s funny.  But please remember how really  important fathers are to their daughters – in more ways than being a money machine.

Fathers often say they don’t know how to handle girls – especially in their teenage years.  Somehow when it’s time for shopping, discipline, or unexplained mood swings Dads become unavailable – or simply perplexed.

What is there about parenting teenage girls that men are afraid of?  Is it the hormones? Is it the fact that soon they will need to wear a bra? Or is it simply that girls talk a lot and feel the need to include EVERY detail in EVERY story they tell?

Regardless of the excuses, there are a few things that dads – especially dads of girls entering their teen years – really need to put at the top of their “to-do” list:

BRAND EARLY – Your girl is what you say she is. She really does need/want/and cherish your opinion.

PROMOTE INDEPENDENCE – Encourage her to manage her money, fix things, and explore math and science more deeply.

ENCOURAGE THINKING – Ask her opinion, help sharpen her ideas. Show her that you value her intelligence.

STIMULATE LEARNING – Suggest role models for her to research; share books about successful women.

SHOW AN INTEREST IN EDUCATION – Talk about the value of education. Discuss college; share your experience in making your choice.

DISCUSS CAREER OPTIONS – Introduce her to successful women that you know. Emphasize that there is no goal too great for her hopes and dreams.

INCREASE HER AWARENESS – Discuss gender bias. Encourage her to speak out and to speak up in her every day activities.

Today’s world offers great opportunities for girls.  Dads build the confidence and determination they will need to reach their goals. Be more than an ATM!


P.S. Keep in mind that your daughter will probably choose her future boyfriends based on the role model you present. Think about that when the doorbell rings!



You’ve Got A Message


I got a call from The Elf on the Shelf yesterday. The conversation went something like this:

Elf:  Hi. Listen, I’m kind of in a hurry, so I’m hoping you can help me get something out to remind people of what’s important.

Me:  Ok, what’s on your mind?

Elf:  Well, let’s just say that lately everywhere I look there seems to be a lot more naughty than nice. People are rude; smiles are few and far between, and taking the time to help one another seems to be out of style! I’m just exhausted!

Me:  What happened?

Elf:  Well, I was up high on a shelf at the grocery store and constantly I saw people racing to get in front of others in the checkout line. Then I hung out at the new office building downtown (where there’s a shelf at the welcome desk with a  great view), and I watched the people hurrying and purposely closing the elevator doors before anyone else could get in! And at night I was peeking around the merlot wines at your favorite restaurant, and I was really surprised to hear constant laughter as people made fun of other people as they walked by. I mean, seriously? What’s happened to NICE?

Just do this for me. And by the way … rather than your offering ‘9 steps’ or ‘4 tips’ or even ‘2 sure-fire ways’ to reduce stress this holiday season. Tell people to follow this advice and watch the changes.

I couldn’t help smiling.  This guy made a lot of sense. And so I promised Elf that I would send out a memo. So, here goes:


To:  Everyone

From: Everyone Else

Date: Today and Every day

Subject:  BE NICE

         It has come to my attention that there has been a slacking off on BEING NICE.  Somehow common courtesy has been pushed aside to make room for iPhones, multitasking, and always being in a hurry.  This has caused a lot of hurt feelings and negative attitudes.

         As a result, I am encouraging all people to slow down and take some time to be considerate and kind to each other.  YOU be the one who smiles more often and treats people the way that you want to be treated.

         Studies have shown that when people include random acts of kindness in their day, it gives  the brain a serotonin boost and results in a feeling of well being and satisfaction.     The doer feels great, and the recipient is overcome with a ‘pay-it-forward’ attitude.  The entire atmosphere changes.

         Put this suggestion into effect immediately and make it a prominent part of your daily routine. It  will result in stronger friendships, more enjoyable activities and workplaces and may even increase your gifts at Holiday Time. 

        This is just a hint from someone in the know.

Thanks for your cooperation.

                 The Elf on the Shelf           

Have a great Holiday Season regardless of how you celebrate.  Just be sure that whatever you are doing and whomever you are with, remember to BE NICE.

Do it for yourself – and for the Elf.


P.S. If you want to share some ‘nice’ that either you’ve done or seen, send me a note.  I’ll make sure it gets to the Elf.