Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Power of Listening

I’m not a fan of yard sales, but I think one reason people are drawn to them is the thrill of finding a hidden treasure. My version of this is to go to Home Goods, a discount home furnishings department store chain. Evidently the company understands this concept. Their website states, “At Home Goods we want you to experience the thrill of finding.”

One day as I was browsing the aisles, a framed quote on a crowded shelf of wall décor caught my attention: “Listen to your dreams.” 

There is something subtle that speaks deeply when we listen to our dreams. When we listen, we have a relationship with our dreams—our vision of how we want to live. Listening gives hope.

Listening honors our dreams, just as listening to a person, honors that person. We’re not thinking about how we’re going to respond or one-up her story. We’re observers of her story. By listening, we can be observers of our dreams.

According to Collin Powell, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” I agree. But before we conjure up the sweat, determination and hard work, we need to listen.

Copyright 2018. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lessons from Darwin

Bucket List: Trip to the Galapagos Islands. ✔ Check.

Honestly, I don’t have a bucket list. So when friends, Dennis and Jan, invited us to join them on a trip to the Galapagos Islands, I didn’t even know where to find this destination on the map. This trip was on Dennis’ bucket list. Still, Dave and I are always up for an adventure so we signed up, and then did our research.

The Galapagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The Galapagos tortoise might be the most popularly recognized animal, but the diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else, is the reason it’s considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. 

We were aboard the National Geographic Endeavor II, a beautiful ship that accommodates 96 guests. It was an expedition—each day filled with hiking, deep-sea snorkeling, kayaking, all while observing amazing animals, fish, and plant life. Now I understand why people have the Galapagos Islands on their bucket lists!

The Galapagos Islands is also home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. As I was entering the lobby, the quote on the door grabbed my attention. “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”—Charles Darwin, English naturalist and geologist

Adapts to change—seems to fit the challenge of adapting to retirement. If you’re resisting change, feeling like retirement has robbed you of who you used to be, how's this working for you? Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, author of The Third Chapter, reminds us, “Resisting change in retirement is like trying to stand still in a fast moving river.”

Instead of hanging on to what you used to be, Lawrence-Lightfoot suggests retirement “requires the willingness to take risks, experience vulnerability and uncertainty, learn from experimentation and failure, seek guidance and counsel from younger generations, and develop new relationships of support and intimacy.”

No one said retirement was going to be easy. But if you want to do more than just survive, if you want to thrive, take Darwin's advice: be adaptable to change.

Copyright 2018. Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.