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

What Was Your Most Embarrassing Moment?

Carl Landau | October 19, 2020

 When my wife Diana and I explored the Mendocino Headlands last week it reminded me that the movie Summer of '42 was filmed there. A lot of people don't know that. (Our movie buff fans will know for sure.) They originally were going to film it back east on Nantucket but couldn't for some reason.


Talking to Diana about this, she said "We need to watch it". (In the middle of a pandemic we have LOTS of time to watch movies…) And rewatching the movie brought me back to one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. 


That movie came out in the theatre (remember those?) when I was about 15 years old. And I saw that movie with my Mom as her Saturday night “date”. I don't know if you remember that movie or not, but it's a coming of age movie that would make any 15 year old squirm and want to die ten times over with your Mother sitting right next to you. If you rewatch the movie you will understand.


So back then I get through the movie with my Mom, feeling completely mortified. We had gone to the early show so we could go have dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant which was right next door. And then it happened--when we are walking out of the theatre, there is a huge crowd waiting to go in. The first two people standing in line were the two most popular girls in my Junior High!  I ducked my head, sure they were staring at me with my Saturday night date--my own Mother!!!

Tags:    the carl diary   movie   embarrassing moment  

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  

Is 80 the new 40?

Carl Landau | October 06, 2020

Is there some movie that you've never seen for some reason and the whole world except you has seen it? Well this week to calm ourselves with the craziness of 2020 we decided randomly to watch "On Golden Pond". That’s right, I had never seen it. 


I am sure that 99% of you have seen this movie but for those 1%-ers (the non-movie-watching people, not the super rich people). It's about this older couple, played by Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, who return to their beloved cabin on a lake and are dealing with aging. For Norman (Henry Fonda) it also means dealing with his tense relationship with his daughter, played by Jane Fonda, in the movie and in real life. BTW: Jane Fonda rocks her bikini in this 1981 movie--probably still does now.


Norman is turning 80 in the movie. What is striking is how an 80 year old is portrayed 40 years ago. He seems ancient. Today being healthy and active at 80 is so common. Many people in their 80s are doing amazing things. This week, for example, I had Richard Turner in our tiki bar studio for a socially distanced interview. Richard is 82 with a thriving photography and writing career. My wife's Great Aunt Vera is 89 and a total live wire who keeps all of us on our toes. 


Things have changed so much in the aging process. It's encouraging for us all. The key is to keep on GOING...MOVING...BE POSITIVE...THINK THE BEST OF OTHERS. This terrible COVID time has made me and everyone else slow down. In some crazy way, it has given us time to be more patient and reflective with ourselves and others.

Tags:    the carl diary   retirement   aging   thriving  

Your (Un) Retirement Super Power

Carl Landau | September 22, 2020

When we launched Pickleball Media and started our podcast, I looked at this project in the same way I did in my previous career. In podcasting, like most media businesses, it’s all about how to build an audience. So you do that via email and social media and through providing great content that will attract the right group.


It's not easy starting to build an audience from scratch. Without going into the boring details, we took all the right steps. But like anything there are some parts I like to do and... some I don't. Surprisingly, I like building out an audience contact list, talking to sponsors and creating content. And I really like the interviewing part of the podcast. It's the personal contact and interaction with creative types that gives me energy. 


But I really don't enjoy the social media part at all. And then it hit me... I don't need to do that. We'll do the basic stuff but I don't want to sweat the details of hardcore, daily social media. I just want to concentrate on what's fun for me. 


I guess my point is that I had to give myself permission to just do what I want to do in (un)retirement versus what I needed or had to do in my previous career. Sometimes I think we all get caught up in what we used to do. Now we need to figure out what we want to do!

Tags:    the carl diary   retirement   choices   media   career  

A Public Service Rant

Carl Landau | September 01, 2020

I have a public service announcement to help the world! Or... a gentle suggestion to my fellow seniors who have their cell phones ON SPEAKER MODE and have a VERY LOUD conversation, in public. Whether it's the supermarket or a doctor's waiting room (both of which have signs that say "no cell phone use") people using their phones on speaker mode don't seem to have any awareness that anyone around them can hear every single word of their conversation. Believe me, we don't want to!!! This is really annoying. And not very polite. No one wants to hear your private conversation, which usually involves some family drama or some injustice you've experienced.


There is a thing invented by God (or in this case Apple) called earbuds. You got a pair for free when you bought that iPhone 5 you're still using! They work great and you can hear the person you are talking with so much better. Plus you will be saving the world and the reputations of people over 60 everywhere!


Rant #2

Okay, since I'm on a rant roll I have another... ahem… gentle suggestion: I've witnessed this situation a lot over the past 5 months. My fellow shoppers are masked up nicely, doing their civil duty. And then they (I'm sure not one of you!) need to talk to someone about their deli order or have some question and they pull down their mask to talk. DEFEATING THE PURPOSE OF EVERYTHING! Please, wonderful fellow shoppers, stop this practice and keep your masks on!

Tags:    the carl diary   seniors   psa