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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tracking Time

Tracking Time
 If your life is anything like mine, as you get closer to retirement the only time you really want to track is how many years, months or weeks are left until you go home from the office for the last time.  Beyond that you might want to take a break from watching the calendar.  It will take a while before you reach the point of total or complete separation from being led by your commitments.
I was handling my separation project very well, until I just notice how I’ve been lulled back into it without even noticing.  As long as we have children and grandchildren (and are actively involved) we will continue to be driven by a calendar.  This morning I drove one of my granddaughters to school, and immediately set my iPhone alarm for a time in the afternoon, when I will go to the school and pick her up.
I am involved enough to be aware of when they have swimming lessons, gymnastics, piano lessons, doctor appointments, birthdays, recitals, on and on.  I’m not taking credit for getting them to all those places after all I’m just grandpa, but because I love them so much, I maintain awareness.  After all I have to discuss with them how their lesson went or how their day went at school or daycare.  My level of involvement includes maintaining a stock of all the important things; popsicles, the favorite cereal, fresh fruit, materials for making a yummy salad, and once again the list goes on.  After all Grandma and grandpa’s home is as important a base as their own homes.
There is a major difference between this calendar, and the multiple calendars I maintained during my working days.  The calendars at work paid off in big bucks, but the payoff on this calendar is priceless.  This morning was the second day of school for my second grade granddaughter, and after eating her favorite cereal she told me that her stomach hurt.  I knew that she was acting a bit nervous about going to school, so I told her it was probably just nerves.  She continued to insist that her stomach was hurting.  After making sure that it wasn’t serious and knowing her as well as I do, I reverted to what I used to tell her mother when she was growing up.  “Build a bridge and get over it!”
She looked at me for a second, her face lit up, she smiled and said, “I get it, it means build a bridge, and walk over it to get to the other side!”  I gave her a hug and a kiss, and gave her kudos for figuring it out.  I had been saying this to her for about a year and didn’t realize that she didn’t know what it meant.  I have a feeling that she will someday say those exact words to one or all of her children.  This is an example of the rewards that the new calendar pays.  By the way with that moment of discovery her stomach ache went away.  The best is yet to come….

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