Bob and Pat Gussin retired in 2000 with no plans other than to enjoy life on Longboat Key and at their home on Long Island, N.Y.
Both had been long-time employees of Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals company.
Bob had served as corporate vice president for science and technology. Pat, a pediatrician, was the worldwide vice president of research and development for Johnson & Johnson consumer pharmaceuticals.
But, within five years their lives took a sharp turn. During that time they formed a publishing company, bought a vineyard in New Zealand, and Pat wrote her first mystery novel, “Shadow of Death.” The inspiration for the book was her experience as a medical student during the Detroit riots in 1976.
In the last five years, Pat has written two additional successful mystery novels and is in the midst of her fourth, “And Then There was One,” to be published in October.
Bob has written “Trash Talk,” a humorous account of an encounter between professional athletes and professional environmentalists.
Their publishing company, Oceanview Publishing, will release 12 books this year.
The Gussins have acquired a second vineyard and make two trips a year to New Zealand; one trip is always taken in November at harvest time.
Their latest endeavor is a joint writing effort, “What’s Next for You? The Gussin Guide to Big Changes, Big Decisions and Big Fun.”
It is the story of how they reinvented themselves in retirement and provides guidance and inspiration for people who are making the transition from work — not to retirement — but to the next step in their life.
Their favorite phrase in describing their transition is “thoughtful impulsiveness.”
Their advice: “Don’t frighten yourself by over-thinking new situations. Thoughtful impulsiveness conquers procrastination and paralyses by analysis.”
And also: “Prioritize. Make a list of five or 10 things that matter in order of importance. Stick to it.”
An example of one of the of couple’s acts of “thoughtful impulsiveness” was the New Zealand vineyard purchase.
The couple was visiting the country and Pat fell in love with the area and its wine.
She asked her husband, “Wouldn’t it be fun to be in the wine business in New Zealand?” After asking just a few questions, they bought a 40-acre vineyard. And, later, a second vineyard. Both are decisions they have never regretted.
Delving into the world of publishing was a challenge. With hard work and the mentoring of talented friends, Bob’s vision of a publishing company dedicated to creating a tradition of excellence in independent publishing became a reality with Oceanview Publishing.
“We receive hundreds of submissions a year, and each selected manuscript is — after careful screening — lovingly created, carefully edited, marketed and promoted,” said Pat.
Both said the process has been a wonderful experience and that fresh challenges are beneficial while people grow older.
Contact Dora Walters at firstname.lastname@example.org
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