I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and getting ready to take some time off work or your regular activities to reflect on this past year and contemplate the arrival of 2019.

My photo this month is thanks to our son, Jeffrey and his wife, Leah, for having these great socks in the middle made for me that look just like the cover of my book! The two of them are a creative team and Leah has impressive computer skills. We thought the socks were so funny that we hung them with the rest of our regular Christmas stockings we've had for years. The 2 small ones next to my Every Night's Friday Night ones were my mother's that she made when she was 8 years old. Amazing they're still in one piece from 1930.

My stocking is one I made when I was 8 years old - also hanging in here after all these years and I sewed the ones and embroidered the names Jeffrey and Mike at the top of them the year Jeff was born. Also, a long time ago during my hands-on, artsy, DIY period.

These stockings reminded me that I hadn't written a blog this year on a chapter in my book that's especially important - Chapter 7, Connections - to others and to yourself. The importance of this may seem obvious, but it can become harder in retirement and during the third stage of life to keep connections alive and healthy when you're not seeing people at work or regularly as you once did.

The holidays are a perfect time to reach out to others - old friends, new friends, your partner, children and grandchildren, people you don't know who could enrich your lives. And it’s an ideal season to find time to better know yourself. Alone time is hard to come by when you're working full time and it's hard to keep up with friends you already have when you're traveling or always preparing for your next thing.

As we age we develop more interest in reflection and time to feel gratitude for all the things we've experienced. Aging is a paradox of joy and challenge and sometimes the difficult, painful things turn out to provide the introspection and contentment we couldn't find when we were busy striving for them.

I'm thankful for these last two years of my retirement and the combination of active engagement and time for reflection it has given me. I am especially grateful to all of you who have been part of this journey with me whether it's reading these blogs, buying my book and passing it on to others, writing reviews, being part of my coaching practice or the non-profit, philanthropy work with Impact 100 Sonoma. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to connect with you, and let's find time to celebrate the joy of another holiday season and the possibilities a new year offers!


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