I never thought I would say this, but I’m looking forward to the end of my government career.   I’ve discovered so many possibilities and new adventures available in the world today that it will be easy to leave in four years. I have loved my time with government.    I’ve been very lucky to work with or meet with really smart people who were trying to solve problems every bureaucratic organization faces. Not everything was rosy but on the whole I felt that each day was a new adventure and I was able to grow and learn from those around me. But I no longer feel that way as I continue to see the same types of problems reassert themselves and the solutions seem to be variations of those tried in the past with limited or no success. I was hoping to share my knowledge/lessons learned in the last years of my career but even that seems limited. I’m available as always but many in my office would rather try it their own way without recourse to lessons learned. And perhaps that is okay with new points of view potentially bringing new lessons that will lead to solutions. I certainly hope so since this is important work.  But it makes it easier to leave old pastures for new vistas.

So what adventures am I looking forward to most in 2016 when I retire?  The world is changing so fast that it is sometimes hard to imagine what might be possible in just four years.  But I am hoping to do more with my artwork.  I love doing mixed media pictures like “Funky Junk”  and junk sculptures like “Blue Birdie” (see pictures below).  I don’t know if they are very good, but I get a lot of pleasure out of creating something fun and unique.  I also want to write about things that inspire me or that I find funny. I don’t intend to write books but I would like to blog more.

But there are so many other adventures that I want to participate in. I’d like to be involved in some way in the new massive open online courses perhaps as a coach or teaching assistant. There are amazing communities growing up around these courses and opportunities to grow and learn and share. I started attending online courses at Coursera in August. I’m writing other posts about these experiences but it’s definitely a new adventure. I’m also thinking about volunteering for the Smithsonian – I love these museums and perhaps I can give some time to help them continue to grow. And I want to continue my quest for better health. I’m not going to set a goal for running a marathon but I’d love to gain the strength to do so if I wanted. And I’m inspired by what Team Rubicon is doing to help others using the skills they acquired in the military. I don’t have the strength to help in the same way, but perhaps there are other ways to help those in need. With all these possibilities and more I’m looking forward to starting new adventures.

Synchronized Breathing Final Framed Cropped 0102012020A        Blue Birdie Classic