I Used to Be Somebody: (Un)Retirement Lessons Learned

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Home Features Every Newly (Un)Retired Couple Wants

Diana Landau | April 11, 2022
This is a “love letter” from my wife Diana about her experience with me moving my office home.
 
  1. Cone of Silence—That’s right, Get Smart style. Just press a button and you can have actual phone conversations without your partner “interjecting” with helpful opinions.
 
  1. Padded Room—Not for your partner, but for yourself. Sometimes sharing the home 24/7 is all a bit too much.
 
  1. The True Divider—This is an actual wall constructed down the middle of your one office that you have to share. Matching shelving on each side for storing YOUR very important mementos and vital personal items that your partner erroneously states are “junk.”
 
  1. Kitchen Sweeper—Not for your floors, but for your kitchen counters where partner has left remnants of lunch, part-time work papers, backpack full of pickleballs and lots of notes written in tiny scribble that not even the cat can decipher.
 
  1. Private Sanctuary—Uh, a certain partner uses this term for the bathroom. Whatever.
 
  1. Discerning Doorbell—this features a speaker that says loudly, firmly yet politely, “Go Away!” for those times when neither of you want to get up and see who’s at the door.
 
  1. Living Room—This area is actually your new office/sanctuary. As you talk on the phone, you look at the walls and imagine them padded. (See #2 above.)
 
  1. Sports Viewing Room—It’s actually outside. Well, ok, the man or woman cave in the garage, but please, just outside.
 
  1. Pet Throne—With all the extra time you two have now, you both spend an inordinate amount of time fawning over the pet(s). Perfect, fluffy, organic, silk pillow for Fido? Yes, Amazon!
 
  1. Outsized Wine Rack—This feature becomes critical to survival and civility as time goes on.
Tags:    the carl diary   unretirement   home office   marriage   work from home  

What Was Your Worst Job Ever?

Carl Landau | July 13, 2021

 
My opening question for every episode of I Used to be Somebody is an "ice breaker" question for the guest. Ice breaker questions are a great lead-in, whenever you meet someone new. It's often a question I ask that's a little off beat and it often reveals a lot about that person. And the answer will give you a bird's eye view of who that person is, as well as their outlook on life.
 
I've asked this question a lot to people over the years, people who have had very successful careers. For most part, they have had some truly crappy jobs in the beginning of their work lives. But it seems everyone I've talked with has learned something from those experiences. (Like what not to do!)
 
When guests start talking about their first jobs or their worst job, they become very animated and you also learn what kind of storyteller they are. That time brings them back, and they tell their story, which helps make the interview for my show better. For the audience, the last thing you want to listen to is stock answers and corporate speak. (I know I don't!) Right from the get go, the guests become more personable and more real--which is the goal. 
 
So there is some thought in my craziness.
 
Sure enough, after reading the podcast results so far, it ends up that the most commented part of the podcast interviews from listeners is often the "ice breaker" questions. So I thought, "Why not put together an episode of just my ice breaker questions (and always interesting answers)?" This bonus episode is really entertaining and will give you some instant insight as to where this guest came from and who they are. Enjoy!
 
• Sponsored by: lovemyheartstudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
• Sponsored by The Monkey Creative: themonkeycreative.com
 
Carl Landau is the Creative Genius here at Pickleball Media. He is the former Grand Poobah at Niche Media. 
Tags:    blog   worst jobs   unretirement   working   job   interview   bonus episode  

The Light Switch Goes off for My (Un)Retirement

Carl Landau | March 02, 2021
I didn't consciously do this, but some sort of "light switch" in my (un)retirement life went off recently. When I put together my Google calendar for this week, I automatically put in my 3 pickleball times/days first. This is an interesting shift. Previously, I would always put in all my work related priorities first and then fill in the rest.
 
This probably seems like a small change. But as I think about it, I realize that it's somewhat significant. Why? Because my last day of "a real job" was March 2020 and I've been in transition for almost a year into what we like to call (un)retirement. I'm not 100% sure why this calendar transition took place. Could it be the influence of listening to great life advice from the 20+ guests I've had on "I Used to be Somebody"? Or maybe I am finding a better balance between work and play. Either way, it feels great!
Tags:    the carl diary   retirement   working   priorities   unretirement  

Practice What You Preach

Carl Landau | October 12, 2020

I‘m always talking about how important work/life balance is and over the years I think I’ve been pretty good at it. (I hope my wife is grading on a curve.) Sure, there were times when I worked long hours but I somehow managed to squeeze in time for myself and my family and my SF Giants games.

 

Diana recently suggested that I practice what I preach. I’ve been having so much fun launching Pickleball Media and the I Used to Be Somebody podcast that I hardly noticed how much I’ve been working. I've started up many new companies in my work life and the start-up phase is always my favorite—your adrenaline is flowing, the ideas are flying, your brain is on fire. 

 

But she has a point. I need to remember to work hard at what I love to do AND take a break sometimes. So we're taking a short vacation this week to soak in the mountains and ocean waves and forget about everything else for a few days.

 

With so much going on in the world right now, it’s important to remember to take a break and a deep breath. It will clear your mind and make you hone in on what’s important. 

 

See you next week! (Maybe I'll be doing yoga by then.)

Tags:    the carl diary   work life balance   startup  

Practice Makes Perfect, Or How to Plan a Mini-Retirement

Diana Landau | August 31, 2020

Planning on retiring soon? Then you already know there’s a ton of information out there for soon-to-be-retirees. “Get your health insurance squared away, have savings for emergencies, more health and financial stuff, blah blah, blah.”

We are going to assume that you’ve already got these important topics under control. But have you thought about scheduling a “mini-retirement” before that big “last day” arrives?

A mini-retirement is a scheduled and budgeted time away from work that is different than a vacation or a sabbatical. You try out what your life will look like when you don’t ever go back to that career. (We’ll be honest:it takes a little work not to work!)

 

5 Tips to Planning a Successful Mini-Retirement

 

How long feels right to you? 

Schedule a block of time and make sure it’s long enough. Is six months possible?

How much to spend?

Budget for this time differently. Vision what your lifestyle will be without all the work perks and paychecks. (And we’re not talking about going without an abundance of office supplies.) 

Manage the worry factor.

This is a big one: Don’t assume your mini-retirement means you are going to be worrying about your finite bank account all the time. Figure out a way to emotionally grasp this now so you don’t dampen your joy post-retirement.

Think and think some more.

Plan your time during this period and keep a journal. This is a time is for social activities and health, but also reflection.. What do you want your life to look like in your Second Act?

Consider the possibility you won’t return to work after all. 

After months away from work and plenty of rest, you may end up wanting different things now. Maybe you’ve tapped into creativity you never knew you had. Or settled on your post-retirement career or project.

There is no one right way to plan for a mini- (or real) retirement. Only you can figure out what works best for you. But try it! This little checklist can help get you started. And what’s better than making you the priority? 

 

Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the I Used to Be Somebody weekly blog. 

Tags:    blog   retirement   vacation   mini-retirement   work   budget  

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