Happy Valentine's Day Rebels,
If you are a man or if you love a man or two, this newsletter is for you.
I'm going to cut straight to the chase, no soft start, no cute story. It's Valentine's Day after all, and I want to give you this loving gift right away.
- 1. Men, you are more than your job.
- 2. Don't wait until retirement to do the things that make you happy.
There are a number of reasons it felt urgent to make that point today. Here they are:
- Tom. When I knew Tom in our corporate days, he was a tightly wound, hilarious leader who loved his family and told epic stories of being at the office on Christmas Eve. He retired a few years ago and was finally working at the beer store and enjoying his adult children. Two years into his retirement, he died suddenly, and we were all crying in church while his children spoke.
- Frank: He retired and finally was taking the master gardening class he could never fit into his schedule. He died before he finished the class.
- Bill: When Bill called me a year ago, going to work made him sick to his stomach. In his mid-60s, he had to drag himself to his job every day and drag himself home with nothing to show for the hours at the office. Rather than doing the work of releasing the past and redefining a broader identity for himself, he decided to double down on his job and continue for 4 more years until he felt he could retire.
- My beloved father-in-law. He was an amazing CFO, loved doing taxes, and served on many boards until Alzheimers robbed him of his ability to crunch numbers and communicate financial strategy. He had no hobbies, and no outside interests, which left him lost.
I can name at least two other men who died within a couple of years of their retirement. My heart breaks every time I hear this story.
And that is why I wanted to send you this Valentine. You are more than your work. Who you are matters. Who you are to your family and friends matters.
If you feel like you have let your friendships go, decide to make some new ones. You deserve to do things you love and that make you happy. You deserve to take care of your body and mind even while you work. And it's ok to love working. I love working. Just don't put off the chance to develop other wonderful parts of yourself until retirement. You are loved.
Happy Valentine's Day.
P.S. Does your dad, brother, husband, best friend, boss need to hear this message? Forward this email to them. They can join here to learn ways to embrace their happiness.