This week, I did an interview on WHQR, our local NPR station on “Your Second to Last Chapter: Creating a Meaningful Life on Your Own Terms.”  As you listen, please pay special attention to Patricia and Bud, because they are wonderful examples of what this chapter in our lives can be about.

Patricia’s career was in Human Resources and, when she retired, she wondered as many of us do, “How can I make the world a better place?”  Patricia found her Second to Last Chapter calling in a program for ex-offenders.  Here were people on the margins of society, often with a spotty employment record and little knowledge of how to be employable.  Patricia, a total HR professional, helps them create a resume and teaches them interviewing skills.  What a great idea, Patricia, and a perfect use of what you already know, now put at the service of people who really need it.

Bud was a principal at a local grade school for many years.  He really loves kids and when he retired he wanted to continue to do whatever he could for them.  No, he didn’t go into tutoring kids, which would be a likely (and wonderful and needed) choice.

Instead he’s turned into a coach for administrators for new charter schools.  After all, he knew plenty about how to run a school…and now he doesn’t have to worry about budgets, absences, discipline, testing, bureaucracy.  He’s taken the heart of his job – being a great and compassionate leader – into schools with less experienced administrators and showing them how they, too, can serve the kids….kids Bud continues to love.

Let us hear your Second to Last Chapter Story – how are you using these years to make that difference in your community and the world?