Founder’s Forum: My First Year of (Semi) Retirement

JB Lester The Healthy Planet

By J.B. Lester

I must say retirement agrees with me. It has been a year now since I officially retired and handed over the reins to The Healthy Planet magazine to my good friend Susan Hunt Bradford. She has done a great job keeping the editions coming and providing the St. Louis area and beyond (via the world wide web) with vital information on how you can make your lives healthier and greener. She has built a staff of inspired writers and offers some valuable resources each and every month. I am still hanging around in the wings as an adviser, columnist and advertising salesperson. Oh, if you are reading this and would like to join The Healthy Planet staff and help us connect “green” and “healthy” businesses with our 35,000 monthly readers, just email your letter of interest to Susan at THPsusan@yahoo.com. I love creating a connection between businesses and the magazine since it helps everyone concerned. We are looking for the right person out there to round out our ad staff and it could be you! Contact Susan today!

Being retired from the day-to-day business of publishing has given me time to do some more writing on my mystery series: The Jackson James Chronicles. I am about to start my 6th chronicle. It has been so much fun writing this series. I also got out the paints and did a rendering of a daylily. It is so much fun to create, a painting, a story. Everyone has a creative side and I strongly suggest you explore your inner artist or writer. The emotional feeling of creative release is something that’s hard to explain. But it’s extraordinary. Just as all of you are, too.

I turned 72 in July, and I must say that life after 70 comes with a variety of health issues for many of us. I have had my fair share of ailments: prostate cancer, heart valve replacement… and yet I am not complaining. After all, I am still kicking. A sore back worries me more than those conditions as a strained muscle can keep me out of golf with my buddies. I do walk 30 minutes each morning. I have become addicted to my walk. I am watching the late-season Monarchs flit about, the goldfinches munch down on the waning cone flowers and of course our family of five feral cats who always arrive back at our front porch for breakfast and dinner. We call them community cats now that we have had them all neutered, micro-chipped and given their shots with the help of the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach. My tomato garden has been prosperous this season and the yellow roses smell so wonderful all summer and into the fall. Yes, I do stop and smell them every time I pass them. My first year of retirement has been busy but pleasant and I am looking forward to the many adventures that lie ahead.