“Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree along time ago.” (Warren Buffet). Now you have time and the World is your Oyster! But you won’t know it at first. In the beginning, retirement can be difficult as you step into the new you. It takes time to shape who you will be next. My advice, step in and out of many doors. I was eager to start a blog named www.lifewithlarry.org to share what I have learned over the years and my life experiences with my husband, Larry. As a mother of three, and grandmother of five and as a former high school teacher, I gained wisdom about how to live a fruitful life. Being a mentor to the next generation and using my talents and skills have been a priority. Now is the time to spend with grandchildren if you have them or to help children in your neighborhood. Of course, if funds allow, travel. I have reconnected with many through Facebook and Instagram and have visited them personally. While I was still teaching, we connected with Vantage Financial in Arlington Heights, Tom Vislisil, who helped us with a prosperous financial plan for our future.
Now I have the gift of time. Time to develop interests and talents. I love waking up to the sound of birds and being able to have a second cup of coffee. To be happy and fulfilled, it is important to cover the following facets of life: Physical, Social, Service, and Spiritual. It is equally important to combine them as you would a delicious soup.
Physical/ I love the outdoors so hiking, biking, and skiing are some of my passions. I joined a health club to be able to use weights and as an avenue to meet new friends I have friends now from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. They teach me Spanish and I help them with their English.
Social/ I started a book club. We meet once a month at Panera. There are 7 of us and we have bonded through our love for books and nature. We have gotten to know each other well. Each summer, we go to a WI summer home for two days and hike, bike, kayak, play tennis and discuss our books. I also joined Toastmasters both for social and intellectual enrichment. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Never, say I can’t. I keep my connections with teachers and friends by getting together for coffee. We open our home by having potluck dinners with themes like Italian or Mexican Night. I am both an extrovert and an introvert. I love being with people and I try to look at each one as I would an interesting book. What story do these individuals have to tell me? How can I learn and grow as a human being? Yet, I need time to steal away and read a book, a devotional or to play my piano.
Service/ Finding My Passion through Volunteering My first serve was with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes after Karina. It took me 12 times to pound a nail into a wall. But in time, I got better. Then I took my love for playing the piano to the lobby of our local hospital. At first I was very nervous but with practice, I have improved as a musician. I also took advantage of writing opportunities with Compassion and Justice issues and writing clubs. My memoirs have been published in several anthologies and Chicken Soup for the Soul. I’m a Guest Host for a Care Center which has prompted me to learn Spanish by doing a Duolingo App on my phone and Synergy Spanish on my computer. I join my husband and daughter by volunteering for www.humbledesign.org/Chicago. I would recommend trying many service organization to see what suits you best and how you can best use your skills to help others.
Spiritual/-At the age of 18 when I was searching for meaning and purpose in life, I looked up at the sky and told God ” I don’t think you are there: but if you are, please show me.” That night, I met my future husband and became a follower of Jesus Christ. The big change came when my focus was no longer focused on me but in helping others. I love reading Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament. There is wisdom about how to live an abundant and fulfilling life. Over and over again, I see his presence in my life and in the lives of others who have been transformed by Him. I found God looking at His creation, not in a church. If you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him—–and your purpose in this life. It’s a big adventure for me.