I retired one year ago on January 31st, 2017. The next day, I posted to this blog for the first time with the title “I Retired Yesterday. Now What?” In that post, I laid out my plans to become a more active Minnesota Democratic Volunteer. After a year, how am I doing? (I hope you understand that this post is more for my benefit to record what I’ve done, rather than for any of you who might read it. I appreciate your tolerance 🙂
I’ve made progress. Not great progress, but good. Let’s say a grade of C+/B-. Here is a review of my accomplishments and some areas where I might want to improve:
- I started this blog. I’ve posted to the blog 24 times which is twice a month. I posted seven times in the first two months, so there have been several months I posted only once. I should try to post twice a month.
- My Twitter account followers grew from 52 to 298. Thank you to all my new followers. My monthly impressions grew from 307 to 6109 in January. I’m happy with this progress.
- I’m participating in four campaigns for 2018: Tim Walz for Governor, Dean Phillip for CD3, Melissa Hortman for SD36B and Hollies Winston for Brooklyn Park Mayor. I feel good about this level of involvement.
- I’m working the most with Melissa Hortman’s campaign, and have become one of her most active volunteers. Hopefully with some help from me, a year from now she will be getting ready to be the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
- I rejoined the Staff Parish Relations Committee at my church, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. The SPR Committee is important for the church, and I’m serving with some outstanding members. Yes, being involved in my church is part of volunteering as a Democrat. We believe in social justice ministry at Hennepin Church.
- I got involved with Indivisible CD3 early in 2017 (when it was just getting going) with its goal of replacing Eric Paulsen. I helped organize a Brooklyn Park & Coon Rapids Indivisible group. On the downside, I didn’t follow through with this effort. After a couple of meetings for the BP&CR Indivisible group, it kind of fell apart. I started spending more time helping the campaigns I mentioned above rather than devoting time to Indivisible CD3.
- I attended Wellstone Training Camp in the Campaign Managers Track in July and attended DFL Campaign Training in June.
- I am developing a new network of friends. Since I’ve been retired, I miss the opportunity to chat with coworkers every day in the office. In my new life, I’m thankfully getting to know some other Democratic volunteers and elected officials in my area.
- My crowning achievement for the past twelve months was being selected to the NARAL Minnesota Board of Directors. NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota is the state’s largest grassroots pro-choice organization and has been working to protect reproductive freedom and privacy for over 30 years. Pro-choice is my number one issue, and I’m pleased to be part of this organization.
One year ago, I ended my first blog post with: “I’m anxious and eager to start this new chapter in my life. Who knows where it will lead me, but I hope you will follow me here and on twitter so we can find out the answers together.”
I’m still hoping that my longtime friends and the new friends I have made in the past year will continue to help me find the answers to this new chapter in my life.
2018 is going to be an interesting year for every Minnesotan Democratic volunteer. Let’s go!