Is There Life After Retirement?

Archive for October 2013

So this evening I attended a College and Career Fair held at a local K-8 school, which extended invitations to the high schools and other groups in our community.  There were a number of folks representing various aspects of UH Maui College, but the uniformed career reps (firemen, policemen, chefs) were the hit of the night.  Some things never change.  Too bad there were no professional ballerinas or princesses.  But I digress…

We UHMC people who represented a broad aspect of the college (as opposed to nursing, culinary and dental assisting) were banished, oops, I mean assigned to a break out room that a few of the parents accidentally wandered in to now and then.

Suffice to say: It was a slow evening.

Nevertheless, we did have some interest, mostly from parents who were thinking about a return to college for themselves. I mean, really, we don’t run across a lot of ten year olds who are looking forward to a degree in liberal arts.  So I had time to think about the whole thing.

Do you ever watch yourself from the outside and see something unexpected?  Well, out of boredom I did that and realized:

I have a strategic “soft sell” sales technique designed to hook people in without overtly appearing to do so. Further more – I’m really good at it.

Strange realization, for sure.

So I began to think about this further and remembered – I’ve always been a good sales person.

And since I am not in sales, that felt weird.  What is the implication?  Does it mean I’m manipulative?  Well … (truth be told) I kinda am.  Man, that’s an odd thing to admit about oneself.    Makes me wonder whether I have a flaw that should be corrected or a skill that should be better utilized.  I don’t know.  What do you think?

And while we’re at it … do you have any traits that can be either positive or negative, depending on the situation?  Just thought I’d ask…

I close the cover of Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things, which had me entranced for an entire week and I think:

“Now what do I do with the rest of my life?”

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.  But seriously – isn’t that the effect  of a good book?  By the first chapter, doesn’t it somehow nudge its way into the number one priority in your life?  Please tell me other people experience this.

A really great, engrossing novel is worse than being newly in love.  I go through the motions of my day – through the tasks of a job I love, interact with friends who I truly enjoy, all the while waiting for the moment I can get back to The Story.  Because that’s the key, right?  A great STORY.  Or is the the characters?  In this case, I absolutely know Alma.  I mean, I know her.

The Signature of All Things has me particularly baffled in this regard-

There is nothing about this book that should interest me.  Why in the world would I want to read about a nineteeth century botanist?  I care about neither.  There’s little dialog; all narrative.  But damn… She had me from the first chapter.

Over the past few months I’ve spent a lot of time reading “bargain basement fiction” – eBooks that cost less than a couple dollars.  It’s true that I’ve found a few gems there.  But mostly?  It’s been okay stories with amateurish writing skills.

How wonderful it feels to read something from an author who can actually WRITE.  If Eat, Pray, Love is all you know about Elizabeth Gilbert, please check out her other work.  I had no idea….


    • Joyce Burke: This was great too read
    • Debbie: I'm with miracarroll--it's your story, so create however you want. Leave the rest of us wondering which of the (mis)adventures are real, which might b
    • miracarroll: Marti, surely the people in your life are wise enough to know (especially after you say it) that you're a writer and in fiction, everything is fair ga