Strategic Planning for Life

2012-DandKMy husband and I are “empty nesters” now, living in a downtown high-rise condo, and contemplating the last third of our lives. We have decided to savor this time together and to avoid getting stuck in ruts, rusting as we rest, or any of those other clichés associated with aging.

How do you do that?  

Just as in any strategic plan in business or management, there is a  logical process involved and here are the bare basics.

  • Determine your mission.
  • Determine your priorities.
  • Brainstorm strategies that can achieve both of those things and discuss until you reach an agreement.
  • Create the action plan that will guide your activities until the next strategic planning session is needed.

Sounds simple, huh? Well, as we always discover in business situations…not so much. You see, people are complex, fascinating creatures, and anytime you have more than one discussing a plan, there will be bumps in the road called emotions.

Discussing the last part of your lives as a strategic plan can take some of the emotion out of that process, but not all; and it shouldn’t. Emotional needs should be part of the priorities you keep in mind.

After all, you do want to be happy as possible, right?

So, let’s look at a sample.

Mission:  To stay active, engaged and madly in love with each other for the rest of our lives. 🙂

Priorities:  Our relationship, our health, our children, enriching experiences, and giving back to our community. Continue reading

When the Kids Go & Come Home from College

Chair Pair

image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff – http://www.stuckincustoms.com

Your tiny little baby, sweet and challenging toddler and now perhaps not so sweet, but still challenging teen has finally gone off to college. 

You feel a mixture of relief, sadness, melancholy for passing years, and sweet freedom…all at the same time!

As we entered into the later high school years with our older daughter, I was warned by those who went before me that a strange and fascinating array of things might happen as she approached graduation and college. So, I guess I wasn’t as surprised as some when my formerly independence-seeking daughter suddenly did an about-face on us.

One day, after acting strangely distant for a while, she finally told us what was bothering her. “You aren’t checking on me at all,” she said, “The other kids have to tell their parents where they are going all the time, and I don’t. Don’t you care?”

We were simultaneously a little shocked at being accused of parental neglect and very amused that our senior was doing the accusing. “Babe,” we answered, “This is your fault.”

Continue reading