I wrote this about a year ago as a magazine submission to their theme, “THERE IS NO ‘I’ IN ‘TEAM". I laughed as I wrote it and really thought it was clever, but unfortunately the magazine publisher didn't agree.

Not much has changed in this year, including the fact that I still laugh reading it. Hope you do too.

Having retired six months ago, I’ve been trying to discover who I am now without my career or any real structure in my life. It hasn’t been easy since I’m single with grown kids and no pets. As attractive as that may seem to many, it also presents challenges since I have had to create my own team, Me, Myself, and I, to get through my lonely, unstructured days. And trust me when I tell you, as a team we struggle. I thinks perhaps we should go to the pool, while Me thinks we should do something constructive such as freelance writing and/or working out, and Myself thinks the team should call a friend to go shopping and have lunch. As the hours tick by and the team still hasn’t decided, every day has the potential of not turning out well.

After months of the team attempting to remain upbeat and motivated, I decided it would be best if we all volunteered at least one day a week. The rest of the team agreed, and it has worked out very well since we now write website and media content for a local, nonprofit cultural center which provides theater, art, and special events to the community. What makes this team decision even better is that we are finally doing something we have always wanted to do and although we aren’t getting paid, we do get perks such as receiving comped tickets to some of the plays and events.

But what about the rest of the week? How do we fill our time so we don’t get depressed and feel isolated from the rest of the world? As with most teams, compromise is necessary, so we usually make I happy by going to the pool one day, and we make Myself feel relevant by working out at least four times per week and meeting a friend for lunch at least once. However, there is still an immense amount of empty time which we try to fill by writing and then, of course, we talk on the phone ... a lot. When we’re done with that, we watch television and as a team, we all agree that we enjoy reality competitions that often place the individual competitors in team situations which can be very entertaining since we all know how well team efforts often go.

Our favorite shows are Master Chef and Survivor (yes, we’re up to season 40 something) and it’s very interesting watching the dynamics of the team challenges. Although we all know we should play nice with others and respect our differences and opinions, there are two emotions that come through the strongest – frustration and anger. Of course, the team that wins suddenly forgets all the negativity and celebrates the victory. But do they really forget? In Survivor, the person who gave them the hardest time will more than likely be voted out at a future tribal council. In Master Chef, the judges also remember who did the least and perhaps disagreed the most, and eventually that person will be leaving.

By now, I’m sure you have determined I’m not really a fan of teams, but living my new retired life, I realize without my own personal team, the possibility of spending many depressed days in a row would become a reality. I would say Me, Myself, and I comprise a rather good team, and I’m fine with Me being the strongest motivator since it appears the rest of my team just wants to be lazy and have fun.

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