After retiring for the second time, Paul Gentile along with his wife Joyce decided to take a vacation to Italy. Paul, who had always thought about writing, decided that this trip would be the beginning of his new career. He has now self-published his new book entitled Dolce Far Niente (Sweet Doing Nothing) and is working hard to market the book which is a true labor of love.
Prior to retirement, Paul had worked twenty years in the community college system. He retired from the position of Dean of Workforce Training at the Community College of Allegheny County (PA) in 1999, did some consulting for a year, and then went back to work full-time at another Pittsburgh college, Duquesne University. He retied in 2003. Joyce, who worked as a teacher, retired at the end of the 2004 school year.
Come along as Paul answers questions about his new book and retirement:
Boom This!: When did you take your trip and how long till the book was completed?
Paul: We left for Italy on September 19, 2004 and returned October 20. After the holidays, we left for our first winter on Hilton Head Island in January, 2005. While there I started writing the book. It took me about a year to write it and a year and a half to get it published. The book is the travelogue of a couple having a wonderful time: They enrolled in a cooking school, hiked the Tuscan countryside, connected with long-lost family in Abruzzo, learned of the childhood of Paul’s father and swam off the majestic Amalfi and Sicilian coasts. They fell in love with the sensual delights of Venice, immersed themselves in a religious service and listened to the music of the masters in magnificent churches.
BT!: Did you decide to write the book before your trip or was the idea something you decided on after you got back?
Paul:I had been getting all the “you’re too young to retire, what will you do with all your time?” comments, and I don’t golf. I had been thinking for some time about writing when I retired. Amidst all those comments, as I was telling a friend about our planned trip, he said it sounded so interesting that I should write a book about it. I thought, “That’s what I’ll do; that’s how I’ll start to write.” So I kept a journal throughout the trip to help me when the time came.
BT!: Now that you have been retired for a while, do you feel differently about it than you thought you would? What -- if anything -- has changed your mind?
Paul: After my first retirement from CCAC, I was loaded with guilt. Our culture places so much value on being over-worked that there seems to be a stigma surrounding retirement, like one is being put out to pasture and no longer has any worth. I really feel that’s what motivated me to go back to work. But after by-pass surgery and other health problems, my outlook changed.
I went into the second retirement with a different attitude. I got into the rhythm of being retired. There is so much to do; it is just under a different type of scheduling, more at the retiree’s discretion. Writing has helped a great deal. We are also able to help out with our family a lot more than we would have been able to do had we still been working.
BT!: Any advice for Baby Boomers who are contemplating retirement?
Paul: The important thing is, if you’re physically able to, remain active. I try to keep structured time when I’m writing which keeps a certain amount of order in my day. Joyce and I are both active in a number of groups. I’m currently serving as President of the California University of Pennsylvania Alumni Board. So we have to keep a calendar and be careful not to schedule over top of each other. And, of course we still love to travel especially now that we don’t have to schedule our travels around work. Mid-sixties today is much younger than it was when we were young. I think the secret is to just enjoy where you are in your life and keep planning and looking ahead. There’s just so much to do, and so many choices. Keep it interesting.
BT!: What future plans do you and Joyce have? Any other trips planned? Any other writing projects you would like to complete?
Paul: We’re talking about a month in France. Joyce’s father’s heritage is French, and we’d like to do the same thing we did in Italy, research her family’s villages, perhaps rent a place in the French countryside, or do a home exchange using our place at Hilton Head. We actually have a number of trips queued, but not sure in which order we’ll do them.
I’ll probably write about our experience in France, but there is another original writing project that’s been in my head for years. Once I get a break from this marketing business, I think I’ll start on that one. Right now, it’s a secret.
Paul and Joyce live in Gibsonia, PA and Hilton Head Island, SC and are the parents of three grown children. They have traveled extensively throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe.For more information, contact Paul at Pl.email@example.com.
The book is available at the following locations:
By Teresa K. Flatley
To learn some of Paul's advice for getting published, visit http://www.boomthis.com/money.html?subaction=showfull&id=1204053344&archive=&start_from=&ucat=4&