Starting over

by Sheila
(Cambridge Ontario Canada)

I wasn't exactly retired because I had never worked outside the home full time, but when my husband was forced to retire at 62 it was a depressing time for both of us. Too much time together and not enough to do.

I made my way to our city's Volunteer Bureau and asked for work.

Having taken note of my writing in the local papers, the lady suggested I write a newsletter for a disabled group that needed communication. I did that and got my husband to help. Together we published that newsletter, even made copies on an old Gestetner machine, and had lots of fun. From there, we attended the group's monthly meetings, helping where we could and socializing with those who needed conversation or just a pat on the back.

I can't tell you how much good this did for us both. Later we moved into a seniors' facility and were right at home, helping in the same ways.

My husband died in 2011, but I'm never lonely. There are many seniors here who need that conversation or just a pat on the back. I am wealthy beyond all imagining.

Wendy: WOW.. Kudos to you, Sheila! Imagine that - a woman who is a mostly housewife gal, who goes into publishing a newsletter. I love it!

Better yet, you pulled your husband into the adventure and you both had FUN with it! We all need purpose, not necessarily a "job" but purpose to give us a reason to get out of bed each day! You did that really nicely since you served a need out there in your local community too!

Sounds like you are a very sensible gal, even after his death, you know how to serve your community even with simple chatting.

Keep On Going! You are doing great work!

Comments for Starting over

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Thank You
by: Mary

This is so inspiring....thank you for your honesty and openness. I'm still looking for my place....where will I do the most good and feel fulfilled at the same time

Apartment living
by: Sheila

Good for you, Mary Lou, enjoying apartment living after living in a house. No more worries about upkeep and unexpected bills.

Living among "oldies" can be most rewarding if you are careful about a few things. Most of us, especially if we're newly single, need someone to talk to. I've found that because I'm a good listener people tend to tell me all the latest gossip, with the caution, "Keep it to yourself!"

I always do, but I make a mental note not to tell anything to that gossiper that I don't want spread around. If she (and it's usually women, I'm afraid) tells you about others' secrets, she will tell everyone about yours.

Discussing money can land you into trouble, too. One woman of my acquaintance loves to tell everyone how much she spends on various items. Most of us don't have the cash she seems to have, so it's uncomfortable listening to her boasting about the large sums she gives her children at various times. Best to quickly change the subject and refuse to try and compete. Who knows if she is telling the truth, anyway? Maybe she needs to lie in order to boost her self-esteem. Feel sorry for her and steer clear.

Can anyone else suggest ways to live happily with other seniors in our remaining years? Please share.

Starting Over
by: Mary Lou Andersen

Sheila and Sharyn, you ROCK!

We just moved into an apartment and are readying our home for sale. What a job!

I love apartment living again (it's a 55+ complex) and we'll both love it more once selling the house is behind us.

by: Sheila

If we all could take something negative and turn it into a positive, how much better the world would be. I applaud you for taking charge when those leaves got you down. Most folks would complain or grumble, making those around them miserable too.

If we just look around we all can find something to do, no matter how small, that makes a difference.

by: Sharyn~~~CANADA

How very generous of u & husband to contribute to a worthy cause. There is much to be done in every community if people want to keep busy on a daily basis.

l live in a seniors' building & have a car, where l park my car is next to a row of bushes, under the bushes there r piles of leaves that have scattered for the past several years. Last Monday was earth day, so l decided to rake the leaves away & tidy up the ground. That was more work than l bargained for that day & the next 1 too!

However, after 4 brown bags full of those dead leaves and an aching back, my work was done. Now the ground around the bushes is nice & clear & l am not complaining to myself about what a mess those leaves were. l did something about it and happy l did.

l went out & bought some peri-winkle plants & now l just have to plant them & watch the plants grow. These flowers come every year & spread on the ground~purple, these will be a colorful vision once they begin to grow & spread.

No-one asked me to do this, but everyone asked me WHY l did this? Cause l needed to, wanted to, just had to be done. Really, l enjoyed doing this very much, even with aches & pains after, the results were worth it for me.

l took something negative & turned it into something positive & future visitors to this building will marvel at the beauty of these colorful spreaders!

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