My first Reset came in my late 20s. I graduated from college and lived and worked in advertising in Manhattan for five years. However, my work/life balance was off-kilter. Working in an office was not for me. I yearned for work outside of the four walls of my cubicles. I packed everything I could carry and boarded a train to Florida. My first Reset: I became a beach lifeguard. Which, after six years led to my second Reset: I became a firefighter. As I rose through the ranks of the fire department, I listened to the “old timers” and took their advice on how to invest money and what to do with my retirement. After 20 years of public service, I hung up the bunker gear, took early retirement and began my third reset: Moving back to the Northeast with my wife and daughter and starting a new direction in my late 40s.
What I do know is this: The unknown is scary. The Reset in my 20s was much different than the Reset in my 30s or 40s. In my 20s, I could pack everything I owned in a few suitcases and take a train. In my 40s, I had to hire a moving van, sell a condo, buy a new house and make sure my pension and retirement savings were enough along with my wife’s salary to live within our means, in a way that did not put my family or me into a downward spiral of debt.
I’m working as a swim coach now and enjoying the time with my family. We live in a community, home and school district that I couldn’t love and appreciate more. Now I think that change is something to embrace and fear is wasted time.