We understand seasons…
At least, most of us understand the definitions of what the four seasons are. Some live in an area of only two, or maybe three, seasons. If you are in the colder climate, and closer to the south, then you probably get exposed to all four seasons. I thoroughly enjoy the winter, and the coming of winter via fall, but I am less enamored with summer if there is heat and humidity…
It’s all a matter of personal taste, desires, and dreams!
But when it comes to life, these seasons are as rigid as the age we feel in our bones. The same can be said of our careers because we struggle with the growing years as we find our place in the world, and then those latter years before retirement, well, we struggle as we attempt to unwind from all those busy years.
Working on projects for a number of years we understood that life had its own rhythm and pace that could not be denied. Summer vacations. Holidays. Back to school. All of these life events could create some dramatic negatives if you did not plan for them. So, the wise thing to do is to factor in these events so that the team, organization, and customers, would not be overly stressed.
Imagine installing a new ATM system over the holidays when people are using their debit cards to get cash for food and gifts. It doesn’t make sense to test the waters like this. Think of all the products that have been introduced and each of them that have struggled with failure at the start of school season. Samsung comes to mind!
This makes me aware, as I age, that life seasons are not something to take lightly. Seasons bring new challenges, and taking on a new endeavor at a season when one would normally be approaching retirement can put many people into tenuous positions.
What if…? That becomes the big question!
It’s been a while since I read the book by Kenneth French, “Just One More Place”. It chronicles his desire by prayer to be allowed to have the opportunity to start just one more church. He and his family went to Alaska in 1940 and began a life of planting churches everywhere. (Read Reference Here) Nearing the end of a season, he prayed for the opportunity to go to just one more place. He was not willing to back down, even though he was nearing the end of his life.
Kenneth French passed away on 11/1/1980… Just a few days before we arrived in Alaska. I never met him, but I know many had great respect for him.
E.B. White, an American Essayist penned the work most popularly known in the USA, “Stuart Little” and “Charlotte’s Web”. He passed away just 5 years after Kenneth French and is well known by this quote:
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” ~E. B. White
From these two individuals, born just 6 years apart, and died just 5 years apart, I take something from their personal focus and think about this today…
Does anybody still have a desire to do more all the way till their last days instead of simply slowing down and doing nothing?
A cousin of mine in Texas says he wants to never retire and never quit working. I understand this, and when you have health, mental acuity and resources to continue to pursue, then I think we could all be like Warren Buffett (4 months younger than my dad!) and just keep on going!
The reality exists that too many of us look forward to the day when we get to wish the company “Good day” and get about the business of simply living life at a slower (or different) pace. Sleep, work, travel and play when you want to and not when the company allows you!
My point today, just because life may be slower does not mean we will no longer be effective. It simply means I redirect my remaining energies and vision to those remaining years. My focus is still to be the best I can be, and to be all I can be, for as long as I can be!
You see, I’m NOT there yet! But reality is that I must start planning for what life will look like in those waning years. There’s still something in me that wants to keep doing, going, learning and challenging myself to do something tomorrow that is as important as what I’ve done with my past!
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:13-14 NKJV)
Life will slow down, and it will eventually end… But not before I’ve done everything I can to feed the desire to keep busy!