My dad worked in underground coal mines for about 35 years. He retired and was done with that part of his life. He never sighed that he missed the good old coal mine. 

He lived 30 more years and he was very active. There is something powerful about putting a period or an exclamation point at the end of one juncture or chapter of life and then beginning a new chapter with the sun burning brighter than ever before.

Some people can’t turn the page. It’s possible to get stuck in life’s thoughts and never be able to create a new state of mind that celebrates life and experiences happiness. 

I do not want to be hard on people who experience life’s mental prisons. It can happen to anyone. Grief is hard to put down.

A family that buries a young family member or experiences tragedy will spend the rest of their lives wondering “what if” or “if we had done such and such” then life might have been different. It’s easy to second guess and to look back.

Life’s failures are hard to forget. A business failure, marriage failure, personal failure or career failure haunts us sometimes. 

We know if certain decisions had been made the chances of a different outcome would have been great. 

So, we spend time second guessing and regretting.

A lot of us who spend 30 years in a career find comfort and enjoyment in staying with some aspect of what we know as long as possible.

Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Tony Bennett keep on singing. Billy Graham preached as long as he could. 

School teachers often sub or even continue on for years into retirement. Carpenters, plumbers and ministers stay in some form of their work often into their eighties.

A business friend is still building hotels into his eighties. 

It’s common for us to continue what we enjoy or what we know how to do. Thus, making a life or career transition is normally not easy unless a person is sick and tired of something and ready to move forward. 

When a person reaches this state of mind then there is eagerness to learn and go forward with a change.

A lot happens to us that we never emotionally ever really heal from or move on from. Often times we go through the motions of going forward but that’s important. 

We can’t bring people back from the grave. 

Old life partners move on. Our children become adults and have their own lives. The mirror reminds us that life is changing.

Remember this truth. You either turn the chapter or it is turned for you. Make turning the chapter your decision. 

This applies to your career, retirement, relationships, hobbies, your health, preventive care and everything.

As you turn the chapter, be excited about the new experience and the new opportunity for personal growth, happiness and possibilities.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states.

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