So Paul Newman has closed the door to any future acting projects. But in so doing he’s a great model for the rest of us and given us some new ways to think about our own working careers.

First of all, this retirement is coming at the age of 82. He’s been a working actor for over 50 years. Are you doing something today that you would be happy to keep doing into your 80’s?

Secondly, even though he acknowledges that he’s not able to work at the level that he wants to in the realm of movies, he’s not retiring from life. He has other projects that he’s turning his attention to instead. This includes a new organic restaurant in Westport, CT and the camps that he runs for critically ill children. I’m not sure how much of his personal attention he’s still devoting to his food venture with the proceeds to charity and education that puts his spaghetti sauces and salad dressings onto grocery shelves and then into my kitchen.

But the lesson I see as a baby boomer that’s too young to retire is that he started a lot of these ventures first as a side or part time project. They began and were running alongside what he’s known for professionally in the world.

Now that he doesn’t have the stamina for the rigors of a starring role, these other ventures are more matured and ready for him to more fully step into.

What are you doing now or interested in starting up on the side?

Is this a side business to bring in some extra money?

Is this a side business that could become your “retirement” business?

Or do you want to more personally contribute to your local or global community through engagement of your time and energy?

What do you see around you that needs doing?

According to the label on the bottle on my kitchen counter, his Newman’s Own brand has raised more than $175 million for charity since it was founded in 1982. What cause would you like to see benefiting from your own civic engagement?