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Thursday, November 23, 2023

Key Learnings: Year 74

On my birthday every year since the inception of my blog in 2011, I've asked you to join me and reflect on one or more key things you've learned over the past year. Although reader response to this annual post has been muted, I'm grateful both for the things some of you have shared and also for comments you've made about a few of my key learnings over the past twelve years. 

* In my 74th year I learned a powerful lesson about compassion. One of the short videos used in some of the social justice workshops I co-facilitated this past year was my entry point for this key learning. Each time I watched that video I felt myself expanding as the narrator described what he calls the "angel that resides in all of us". How do we each activate that angel? Simple - take an action on behalf of someone else that has no possible payoff or benefit to you. In several of these workshops, it was clear to me that the message of that video had landed just as profoundly with one or more of the workshop participants as it had landed with me. 

* Good news should travel fast. In addition to being a key learning, hearing those words at an event centering on environmental stewardship was also healing for me. As the speaker emphasized how critical it is for environmentalists to share success stories, I immediately internalized her words. Then I decided it was time to commit to a search for promising environmental news any time I feel eco-grief.

Please consider sharing a key learning of yours with my readers and me.       


  1. Good morning, Pat. As I approach my 67th birthday (next month) I am finding that I am settling into retirement more anymore each day. I admit it was a bit more difficult at first than I had thought, going from full involvement in my profession to ... well, nothing much to do at first. And I believe that was probably more due to the reasons why I retired when I did rather than my original plan to retire this past January. But after just about 5 years, I find that I still miss a lot of the people that I worked with, and I do miss the involvement, but not so much the work and stress that came with it. More reading, more classes, more time with family and, hopefully, continue to find more time to do 'things' - with many potential meanings attached to that word.
    Be well,

    1. Good morning, Bob; Thanks for the comment. I share your sentiments about missing some of the people I worked with and the "involvement." Where we differ is in how much "difficulty" each of us had with the transition. My list of books to read alone - constantly expanding through all those full-time work years - kept me from ever having any difficulty. Added to that were my ever-present (and frequently postponed) goals connected to my playing and my writing. Given just those three things, I hit the ground running in 2010 and can honestly say I've never looked back except for the people, a few of whom I keep in touch with.