I started this blog in April of 2014 and was committed to providing the kind of entertaining and thoughtful content that I’d want to read as a northern 55er (I’m now 56.)
Along the road we take detours or are detoured from our prescribed path. Both happened to me.
My Own Detours:
- Just as I began this blog I was recruited by an international bank in April 2014. They wanted me to manage one of their branches. I had no previous banking experience. They didn’t care. They wanted me for my managerial, supervisory, business, and business turnaround skills. So, I accepted the branch manager’s position…the job title is more impressive than it should be. I’m no different than any other manager running a restaurant, retail operation, or service business. The job is exactly the same. Manage people. Ensure consistency in customer service excellence. Keep expenses in line. Maintain policy and procedure adherence. Meet or exceed goals. Attend far too many meetings. Participate is far too many conference calls. Work way too many hours.
- With the added responsibility, branch “clean up” and the longer, more stress-filled workweek, I stopped my guitar lessons.
- I stopped teaching motorcycle safety because I could not commit to the evening classroom and weekend riding sessions.
The Detours I Had to Face:
- In February of 2015 I was diagnosed with epilepsy after having 5 seizures in just 4 weeks. The diagnosis was confirmed after numerous medical tests. I was told that it’s not entirely unheard of for epilepsy to make itself known in middle age. Too many potential answers to “why now?” to list here. With my epilepsy diagnosis I had to confront:
- My driving privileges taken away until my neurologist said it’s okay to get behind the wheel…a 3-month mandatory minimum in the State of Connecticut. Bad enough I had to rely on my wife for my daily commute (she’s a great driver and never complained once, so, no jokes about her driving.) Imagine having to ask your 84-year old mother for a ride! I did. It was 40 years ago when I last muttered, “Hey ma, can you give me a ride?” Now, at 56, those words from my teenage years were said again.
- I have to take very strong anti-seizure medication with many bothersome, impactful side effects every day for the rest of my life.
- Based on my neurologist’s recommendation and my wife’s insistence, I sold my motorcycle and all riding gear…a very sad moment when I saw it leaving on the buyer’s trailer.
And, that brings me to this blog. It’s time it was resurrected. It’ll be a big part of my leaving the detours behind to write for it again. My hope is that every reader experiences some connection when they read it. Feedback, your feedback, will be most appreciated.
Oh, one last thing: the picture is of my wife and me. You know that saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman”? I’m not a great man, but Valerie is a great woman. She’s also bold, daring, painfully (very painfully) honest, and thoroughly committed to her crew cut! According to her, there’s no more hair coloring, cutting, blow drying, flattening, 2-hour salon visits, and $100.00+ expenses every 4-weeks. Freedom! Instead, every 2-weeks I break out the electric cutter, slap on a #2 comb, and 15-minutes later she’s smiling ear to ear.
I love it!