The first six months of 2017 flew by, between school, training sessions, and family life.  Finally, the summer has come along with (some) time to relax.  This spring I had the opportunity to travel around the country to share my story, and I often learned more from police officers and other audience members after I spoke.  I’ll share a few of the quotes today.

“Love the job, don’t be the job.”

A veteran officer gave me this advice that I wish I had received during the police academy.  It still resonates in retirement and certainly for other professions.  Particularly for policing, the “job” can be almost addictive, where you live it day in and day out.  Along with this comes forgetting how the job can impact the people around you, as well as your personal health.  Today, I share this advice with recruits, reminding them to spend time with their families, and have interests and activities outside the workplace.

“Always do something positive with your life”

After a recent talk, a retired police officer approached me and shook my hand.  I didn’t know him before the event, but we are members of the same “club.”  He was shot in the leg, in nearly the same location as I was.  We’re both lucky to be alive.  Being in the same position, this is great advice for someone who is forced to retire early and make difficult life decisions.  He reminded me of the motivation to stay active and make a difference in the community.  When your plan and your career is forced to change, just re-focus and make something else work!

“Be willing to learn something every day.”

I can’t attribute this quote to any specific person.  I think I’ve learned a lot of this from my children, who both seem eager to learn whether it be at home, in school, or on the playing field.  They have a lot of time and energy to learn (I wish I had some more myself!), but that motivation inspires me to have an open mind and try to learn from others and from my own mistakes.