Back at the end of 2013, I was forced to stop working and “retire” because of health issues. I had had a heart attack earlier in the year and was also suffering from increased effects from diabetes, making me feel old and for the most part kind of useless. Yes, you could say I was thinking “pity party” and was selling that idea to anyone who would listen. Problem #2: no one wanted to listen.
So what does a formerly busy guy do when he’s forced to wind his life down and face the reality that he’s entered into a new phase…and he isn’t really mentally prepared for it? I began to call it the “every day is Sunday” syndrome, and looking at it you may see the reason why.
To me, Sunday represented the day of the week when you could sleep in, sit in the sun, watch a ballgame, play with the kids or grandkids, in fact you could do pretty much anything you wanted, and the best part was that the time on the clock had almost no significance. There were no 2 pm meetings, conference calls, rush hour traffic jams, or skipping lunch because Joe Jones stopped in with an emergency and you have to deal with it right now! Hmmm, maybe I misjudged the whole “forced” to retire thing at second glance?
So there I was about four years ago, living my own reworded real-life version of Simon and Garfunkel’s classic, “59th Street Bridge Song”. Only what I sang was:
Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its depression on me
Life, you suck and all ain’t groovy
Da da da da da, da da, life ain’t groovy
Even a Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day
But, as sometimes happens, I got an idea and it turned into this blog, which I hope was a good idea. Well, I know there is at least one happy person who enjoys it, even if it happens to be only me! Ok, I’ll make that two people because I’m pretty sure that my wife Suzanne does too.
It’s a bit ironic to me to actually sit down each week and write something here. I was never really much of a writer as a youth. In fact, I barely got by in the realm of studying English in school as I much preferred baseball and rock and roll, and was rarely seen in a library back then. In fact, if I had to be there, I would often say to my friends, “Don’t tell anyone you saw me here—I don’t want to ruin my reputation!”
Times They Really are a Changin’
My behavior has definitely changed. Besides now using the library as a great source of free entertainment and enlightenment, I really do understand that reading and writing are timeless ways of educating, informing, and recording life and history. Blogging, the 21st century way of adding to the mix, is only a new way of doing exactly what the cavemen did many thousands of years ago when they scratched on the walls of their caves. So, historically speaking, there’s nothing new about all of this except that it’s now electronically recorded for posterity instead of all the other ways it was done before.
But blogging has really given me a sense of purpose and a way to fill my time with something beyond watching cable news and ball games. And it’s introduced me to a wonderful online community as well. If you think blogging might be for you, and you haven’t tried it yet, check out my guide to getting your own blog started.
Then two and half years ago, I began sending weekly emails out to the SST community. These emails not only include links to my current posts, but bonus content as well. If you’d like to start receiving my emails, please make sure to subscribe and confirm your subscription. It’s the easiest way to get all the tips and information I have to offer.
A Big Thank You!
My blogiversary gives me the chance to say thank you! Thanks for reading, commenting, encouraging me, and making me feel like what I am doing is at the least informative, and maybe even entertaining. And if you ever feel like sending me a question or comment, I’d love to hear from you.
Using my experiences and writing about personal finance is fulfilling on a number of levels for me. Of course it keeps me busy and gives me more purpose that just sitting around watching CNN all day (although what would life be without that as an option?). It may not be laser focused every single time, but if I wander off the traditional path of personal finance, please forgive me. Sometimes I just have to write about some tangent like finances and baseball or finances and music and that just might not be textbook financial material, but it is me. I can’t help myself sometimes.
“Help” is a Very Important Word to Me
Even though I get so much from writing the blog, it isn’t the only reason I do it. I started out 4 years ago this month with a bigger purpose. What I wanted to do is to help others learn more about their finances, their options, opportunities, and financial futures. My finances could have used that while I was on the road to retirement and making all of those stops along the way in my life. Since I didn’t have resources like the internet to draw upon, I made a lot of errors along the way. Those errors are the life lessons I try to convey here and help you not to make the same mistakes I made. I hope it is helping at least a few people.
Having reached the 400 post mark over the past four years, I still think there is more to do and say, and on that note I begin year five on Tuesday. I have every intention to keep on going as long as at least one person is reading and frankly I feel certain that will happen. Suzanne has promised she will. Onward and upward!! 🙂