I’ve been off the grid…other than snarky remarks about certain service providers on Twitter and Facebook…and a few food photos (big surprise!)…for the past several weeks. While I seriously doubt anyone has actually missed me during my absence, I’m happy to report “I’m ba-ack!”
In a nutshell, over the past three-ish months, I’ve packed something closing in on 50 years of life as a working professional into a bunch of boxes…retired…and moved to Florida.
Arrivederci, New England winters. Bon jour, year-round tropical climate!
Yeah, it has been…is…something of an adjustment. All of a sudden, I don’t have to be somewhere to do something. I find myself automatically checking my phone for reminders of meetings that I no longer have to attend. My calendar, other than one or two monthly conference calls for PRSA-affiliated committees that I’m on, is blank.
It’s a somewhat unsettling feeling, but I’m adapting…slowly.
I do miss the energizing interactions with my students at Curry College, where I headed up the Public Relations Concentration in our Communication Department and taught most of the undergrad PR courses. As I’ve said so often, “I’m a vampire. I need fresh blood!” Thankfully, I have social media to maintain at least some form of contact, and I hope my friends will continue to connect with me at least for a while. We’ll see!
The “new” part of this current state-of-affairs lies in the fact that I will have to establish a new network of professional connections as well as (local) personal friends. We were in Boston this past stint for 22 years after having lived in Hawaii for three years after having moved from Boston where we had lived for 14 years!
If you do the math, that’s 36 years in Boston with a solid network of professional and personal friends to whom I could turn for advice, reassurance that I wasn’t completely insane in what I was doing, and just good ol’ down home company.
On a professional level, I joined the Public Relations Society of America in 1981. Got involved immediately on committees. And have continued to contribute in as many ways as possible ever since, including serving on local, regional, and national boards of directors.
So here we are in Florida, starting literally from “Ground Zero” with a clean, shiny blank slate sitting in front of me.
Just got my PRSA membership renewal form which prompted me to reach out to the PRSA Tampa Bay chapter for membership information. Looking forward to attending an upcoming meeting and starting the development of a new network of colleagues and friends.
Next, I will reach out to folks in higher ed here in the Tampa area. I’d love to pick up some part-time teaching gigs at one or more of the colleges and universities here. I think I still have some relevant knowledge and experience that I can share with young men and women interested in exploring public relations as a profession.
So there you have it. The circle of life has brought me back to where I have been a dozen or more times…and what’s “old” is once again “new” again.
As poet John Masefield says so beautifully in “Tomorrow”…
“But tomorrow, By the living God, we’ll try the game again!”