I’m John Powell.  I would describe my life as interesting but not terribly exciting.  I like it that way.  I think life is interesting by nature if we pay attention to it.  Life has a way of presenting us with all the challenges, joys, and pain we might need if we’re willing to show up each day, engage with the people in our lives, and ask what the lesson is each time we hit a dry spell or run into a wall.  I try not to create too much drama for myself because I’ve got my hands full without adding to it.

One of the pictures below is me at a much younger age, on a not so good day.  I had more hair.  The other picture is me today.  I was having a much better day when this was taken.  Can you guess which is which?

Three years ago I completed a 23-year career as a Counseling Psychologist working primarily with college students.  Each of the thousands of students I worked with as a therapist, a teacher, a consultant, or a friend taught me something.  Sometimes I learned those lessons while I was sitting with them.  Most of the time I learned them later upon reflection.  I think is how we learn most of our lessons.  I suspect I’ll be learning some of those lessons for years to come, long after the students that provided the lessons have forgotten me.

Before being a psychologist I was a minister.  I earned a seminary degree that mainly taught me how to be a good Baptist.  I spent several years as an associate minister trying to do just that.  As a minister, I think I was effective, I loved the people I worked with, and had some life-changing experiences, but after a few years, it became more and more difficult for me to be a good Baptist.  So I quit trying to make a profession of it.  That’s when I made the decision to go to grad school in psychology.

Before, between, and since those two careers I have had dozens of part-time and temporary jobs including working as a roadie for a recording company, being a night janitor, driving a fork lift, and selling garbage bags door-to-door.  Some of those jobs I hated, some I enjoyed, each one of them provided me with at least one good story.  Sometimes a good story or two is the best thing you can take away from an experience.  In my new career phase, I am writing, working as a handyman, and beginning self-employment as a life coach.  This website is a part of that new phase.

I have been married to the same person for 39 years.  We were college sweethearts and married young, which was the usual thing to do in our families.  Our current relationship has little resemblance to the couple that married in 1972, and I’m happy about that.  If a relationship doesn’t grow with the individuals, it won’t last.  Fortunately, with the help of friends and family, our relationship has evolved as we as individuals have grown.  She is my best teacher, sometimes with what she says, sometimes with what she doesn’t say, and sometimes with “the look.”

We have two young adult children, ages 29 and 22, each of whom is going through their own unique maturation, with all the thrills and trials you’d expect.  Ashley just started a new career in Human Resources.  She and her career seem well suited together.  Austin plays heavy metal guitar and hopes to make a career of that.  He works in food service to cover expenses in the meantime.  I am delighted that they are good friends with each other.  I’m a better person for having been their dad.  I hope they can say the same thing when they look back.

I have four brothers.  We live in different parts of the country, but we get together at least once each year for a long weekend, mostly to talk.  This picture is one such weekend at the cottage in Maine eating by the light of a lantern.  From the time we were boys playing and fighting in the back yard until today, they have been and continue to be some of my most profound teachers.  Whether or not their names are mentioned in the articles, you can be assured that they are whispering (or giggling) in the background.

With the changes in career and schedule, I decided to make this website my venue for writing.  I am perpetually behind the technological curve, so this is a real challenge for me.  It’s taken me months longer than I anticipated to get this site up and running.  I consider myself fairly bright.  Most things I’ve tried have some fairly easily and intuitively.  When they don’t, I want to quit and convince myself I didn’t really want to do that anyway.  It has been an act of sheer will to stick with the building of this web site.  I am much more comfortable building or fixing something when it requires a hammer, a miter saw, or a set of socket wrenches.  Working with the cryptic language and acronyms of software is daunting, but I want to write.  More than that, I want people to read it.  So I’ll deal with the dauntedness, a word I just made up.