Sherry, Age 69
I am 69, looking forward to any day that Mother Nature allows. I have been a nurse for 42 years and by helping people, I learned that, by giving, I am getting many rewards. I went on “permanent vacation” 2 years ago. I also call it “perpetual Saturday” – my favorite day when still working. Retirement, I say, is for going to bed at night.
I learned, when my Mom died at age 60, that I needed to suck out of life everything I could. She was vital, full of life, fit, and very active, yet stricken by her genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Whatever life held for me at that juncture, I was not going to live in fear of dying young; or old. I learned to ride a motorcycle and bought a Harley and traveled far and wide. I learned SCUBA. I went to cooking classes. I love sewing and reading, joining a book club. I often volunteer at the Elks Lodge as a member and again, find by giving, I get back. I make life a theater, dressing for occasions to celebrate.
I moved to the place I loved: Colorado Springs, three years ago. I have put into perspective my mistakes and have not second guessed my choices, which I thought were right at the time. I sleep very well, tired from making the most of everyday. I have a BIG garden and find joy in watching things grow. I enjoy the laugh of my neighbor’s children.
My Grandmother Kennedy used to say, “who will know in 100 years from now?” That has helped me decide what is really important. I have an attitude of gratitude, thankful for what I have and always consider, “is this what I need or what I want”. It helps clarify my purchases.
I have no children, by choice, and have only two brothers who live States away. I have family of choice: dear girlfriends who sustain me in times of joy and grief. I have dog rescues and cat rescues and caring for them gives me such joy.
I am healthy and do not take it for granted. Yet, I have drinks at night and smoke cigars. I have a mantra: “where there’s a will, there is a woman; and, that would be me”. I don’t pay for anything that I can do myself. I am fiercely independent, yet believe that Mother Nature has it all in control. I do not fear death: Mother Nature has it in control.
My definition of happiness is “peace and contentment”. I have my “blue days” and surrender to it and get busy doing SOMETHING. I have been married twice, not interested in doing that again, but am open to companionship and sharing in mutual interests.
I do not involve myself with negative thinkers or people who are in crisis all the time: “life is too short”, as Mom used to say. I love people, but only those who, maybe selfishly, contribute to my joie de vie.
No one will give me anything, life is for the taking for your own happiness; yet, giving to others is the best satisfaction for me.