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When I was in the Army, particularly when I surpassed 10 years of service, I knew I was going to retire. It just didn’t make sense to leave the service and walk away from retirement. Boy, I’m glad I did.

I am grateful for the time I served, and if young enough, and faced with the same choices when I was younger, I’d do it all again. It was an adventure of a lifetime and it offered me the opportunity to do things I would have never had an opportunity to experience any other way.

I served in Europe for 6 years. I was in Berlin, Germany when the Berlin Wall came down. I was at the retirement ceremony for Checkpoint Charlie. I got to see Reagan give his famous “Tear down this wall” speech. So many memories.

Because of my service, my medical care is literally free for life. I had the opportunity to retire early and come home to help my folks. This has been a great thing. How many people get to celebrate their parent’s senior years? Not many. In fact, most people will never retire.

Honestly, I am not retired either. The key difference between my working life and my “retired” life is that I can do what I want. So, I am.

What do I love? I love reading. I love writing. I love exercise. I love serving. I love meeting new people and having impromptu conversations with people. I also love learning. So this is what I do every day.

What is something I discovered pretty quickly? I learned that I couldn’t just hang out and do nothing. Netflix is entertaining, but watching it all day every day—No thanks!

My military experience has bled into this retired life. I need structure. I don’t need a minute-by-minute schedule, but I need to do the same things daily. I do all the things I enjoy each day. I love blogging. I love working on my book projects. I love learning new things. All the things I do every day are an absolute joy. I hope all of you are in a position some day to do the same if you wish to.

So this is what I’m grateful for. My retirement and the new adventure I’ve embarked upon.

Have a great Thursday everybody!

Until next time…