I told you why I put From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks on my list in the first place in my previous post about the book, so I won’t rehash that. It took me longer to read because I did something crazy and DIDN’T read while I was on my three-day-weekend getaway with my mom. I’ll be honest and say it wasn’t on purpose. I just didn’t have time. I slept a lot more than usual and we had plans to start exploring the area early each morning we were there.
This book was depressing at first. It not only made me feel old and therefore useless, it made me feel like my lack of any real success drive even when I was younger signified a wasted life. What have I accomplished in my life so far? What goals achieved? What have I created? Where have I left my mark in the world? What will I be remembered for?
I started to think this book was not written for the likes of me. I was right. It was written for those high achievers out there, the people that are driven to produce and excel and succeed in business. I am not one of those people. My drive has always been relational. I’ve always been more interested in relating to people better than achieving fame or accumulating wealth. Not because I’m better than them, but because it just doesn’t interest me.
I considered not reading the rest of the book, but I’m glad I did because of two lines.
“…a career reset does not have to result in a midlife crisis.”
“I’m crazy if I think it’s too late to reset.”
As I read through the book, I started to realize something, I have had a career and I have been driven to make a success of it, to create something that extends into the future, and to be remembered by people for what I did.
That career has been my children and my family and now I’m entering retirement, but that doesn’t mean I’m useless. I’m only at the beginning of an elder phase, that time of life where I clean up my nest, build more knowledge, start connecting and repurposing those things I’ve learned over the last twenty-five years.
This book has shown me that and some ways to do it more gracefully. I’m happy I finished it.