NextDoor.com-Reach out & touch someone!

Lyle, Rachel, Mike, Vicki and so many other wonderful people are moving to my area. They have either decided to move to a new neighborhood, city or state. Maybe they are recently retired and living their bucket dream list. Maybe some are newly single for one reason or another and making a fresh start. Some, are following the grandkids and are content to be in their shadow. Whatever their reasons, it takes guts to relocate. To put yourself out there and make new friends. It’s like dating again, except this time they are seeking friends and not romantic partners.  

Smoky Bear and meAs a single woman, I don’t have the luxury of teaming up with a partner to go friend hunting so I’ve created my own strategy. I put myself out there at local concerts. I listen to speakers at the local library. I volunteer for events when I see Volunteers Needed signs. I ride my bike and go to local coffee shops (and drink tea.) I go to the movies alone and check out the other patrons.  I keep doing the things that I enjoy doing but allow time for meeting new people and conversations.

And what do you know …  it works. I’ve met people at local free concerts and made hiking plans. I’ve met people in the lounge area of the movie theater and discussed books. I’ve sat in on speakers and stayed longer to connect with those others who linger and chat it up.

On my street, I know neighbors on both sides of me. One side of me lives a young couple with elementary school age children and on the other side of my house is a retired couple in their 80’s who travel the world like crazy. We are friends as well as neighbors. They will put out my trash for me. I will mow their lawn or look after their kids for them. I want more of that!

As a way to connect with people in other neighborhoods, I am a member of NextDoor.com. This online network connects people across neighborhoods and helps them stay informed about upcoming events and issues. It addresses neighborhood, public and government concerns. It gives me a way to reach out to others who might have the same interests that I do.

Last year, I sent a message on NextDoor.com to see if anyone played Euchre because I wanted to join them. Instead, I had more than 16 people reach out with excitement and desire to get together. The funny thing was they were all couples and I was the odd one out. At least I was able to hook them all up!

Another time, I was collecting crutches for a Rotary Club project and I put the request online and was happy to say I had a bunch of people happy to take crutches, canes and wheelchairs out of their closets and garages and put them to good use.

Also, I needed to get my hands on a copy of EnCompass the AAA magazine after I had tossed mine out. When I inquired online if anyone had it, I found to my delight that 4 neighbors were willing to part with theirs for my cause. I’ve asked for recommendations for services (car, cable, garage help) and in turn, was able to help others with recommendations. 

Perhaps this platform is the way to reach out and connect on a broader scope. The blog link below titled “Coping with social isolation, together”  by Sarah Friar touches on reasons to reach out and connect.

In order to make NextDoor.com a ‘movement’, others need to know it exists.  At the top of their page, I have the ability to ‘invite’ others to join. I can invite them via email or postcard. Once I click on the Invite Neighbors, up comes a map of everyone who is 1) already a member, 2) recently invited or 3) not yet members. I will go ahead and send out postcards and see if I can entice others to join.  So, that is my new task, challenge and adventure. Maybe they will toss the card, maybe they will be interested, maybe they don’t want to bother. That’s ok.

Reaching out is the main thing. And connecting is the best end result of all!

 

Resources:

NextDoor.com

NextDoor.com Blog : blog.nextdoor.com/2019/07/22/coping-with-social-isolation-and-loneliness-together

The Story of Retirement. Begin Here.happilyafterretirement.com/2019/07/14/the-story-of-retirement-begin-here/

Retired: Renting rooms to traveling nurses  happilyafterretirement.com/2019/06/30/8340/

33 Things to do when you retire: happilyafterretirement.com/2019/05/19/33-things-to-do-when-you-retire

 

 

The Delight of Being Retired

I recently read a book titled The Delight of Being Ordinary by Roland Merullo. It was a story about the Pope and the Dali Lama hiding out for a few days in the garb of ordinary people. They wanted to be unseen by others so they could see the world again.

I love the title and when I took a kayak ride (yes, it was glorious) I kept repeating the words over and over. The Delight of Kayaking. The Delight of Hiking. But when I said “The Delight of Being Retired” in my mind, I giggled out loud.

Enjoying my green kayak on Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins, CO

It is a delight to be retired. And to be able to get up and out of the house because you want to, not because you have to be at a job. It’s a delight to make plans and change them at will … just because.

The Delight of Being a Blogger.
The Delight of Being a Writer.
The Delight of Being in my Sixties.
The Delight of Having a June Birthday.
The Delight of Making Pancakes.
The Delight of Growing Tomatoes.
The Delight of Growing Older

As you can only imagine, I’m having a great time with these words.

Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins, CO

This past week I went camping with friends. It was the 5th year in a row that we made the effort, reserved the sites (the previous February), decided on the menu and made it happen. We’ve had rainy afternoons, super-hot days, windy nights and cloudy mornings over the years and they have rolled into a sweet and treasured tradition.

Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins, CO

I moved to this area only six years ago so I feel so lucky to have made friends and created traditions and found a sense of belonging.

The Delight of Camping.
The Delight of Star-Gazing.
The Delight of Morning Walks.
The Delight of Engagement.

Retirement is what you make it. You can overload and over schedule your world or you can enjoy the people and events that make you smile. Now is the time to pick and choose where to go and with whom. I keep asking you to join me and maybe someday you will. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing my sunrises and moon rises with you. And you will be sharing with me in your own delightful way. Of that I have no doubt!

Your thoughts are always welcome here!

SENDING FATHER’S DAY WISHES TO YOU TODAY!


Resources:

The Delight of Being Ordinary by Roland Merullo
Breathe in the Stars 
Something Wonderful
Day 13 – Out Hiking
Sunset at Low Tide

Hiking for the love of it!

The hike I took this morning would have gone much easier if I had someone next to me as I climbed. As it was, I told myself – just get to the tree, just get to the rock, just get to the next curve. And with each baby step, I climbed higher.

Time slips away too quickly these days so I scheduled (in INK) on my wall calendar to take an early hike. And it worked!

morning hike1

My hike was under a under a cloudless blue sky. I left a bit later than I had originally planned and was on the trail at 7:30am instead of 7:00am. I wish it was earlier because I chose a route that went straight up the rocky hillside. Ugh! As I walked, I longed for shade, a breeze, some clouds and lower temperatures.  My alarm went off at 5:30 am but my dream was dangling in my memory, my pillow was warm and a hike could easily be put off. Drats.

WHY BOTHER?

This summer, I will be volunteering for a week as a Senior Counselor for a group of kids (Juniors in high school approximately~~ 15-16 years old) for a solid week. We will rise early, hike, listen to lectures, create skits, solve problems, create trust circles, roast marshmallows, watch the night sky and so much more. During this week, there are two hikes scheduled and they are both pretty steep. I don’t want to be the old lady left behind so I am doing my own training right now. Ugh.

morning hike2
Early morning walk at Horsetooth Open Space

KEEP ME COMPANY!

The hike I took this morning would have gone much easier if I had someone next to me as I climbed. As it was, I told myself – just get to the tree, just get to the rock, just get to the next curve. And with each baby step, I climbed higher.

GRATITUDE ABOUNDS!

I am usually in a state of awe when I hike because the scene around me is breathtaking. I’ve come upon coyotes, snakes, deer and elk when I’ve hiked but overall, I feel pretty safe. When I walk, I keep my ears open for the rattle of a snake in case I startle it but most of the time, it’s just me and my thoughts.

The hike is meant to strengthen my body and to quiet my mind. If I am walking with someone, then its a whole different story. For this hike, a companion would have been good for me.

morning hike3

During the same week, I took another hike and enjoyed clouds in the sky. They offer contrast, definition and most of all shade!

ENJOYING RETIREMENT

Being retired allows me to get up and get my hike or walk in before the day begins. For the longest time, after I retired, I felt guilty about what time I woke and kept the workday schedule I had. It was my way of penance for being home, with free time on my hands. I’m over than now 😊!

Time to lace up my Merrill hiking boots and get on the trail.

morning hike 5
Join me for a morning hike!

“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” 

― Cindy Ross

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/hiking

When you find yourself smiling …
what task are you doing?
Think about it and share with me.
I’d love to know what makes your heart sing!

33 Things to do when you retire

Well, there are actually so MANY things to do but I wanted to keep it brief for now. Basically, when you first retire, you do those things top on your list … then when those are done, on to more and more and more and …

  1. Empty drawers and clean out the fridge.
  2. Clean the closet and toss out clothes (esp work clothes).
  3. Weed the garden then plant flowers or tomatoes or both.
  4. Rearrange the garage – build a bird house.
  5. Binge-watch your favorite program – Game of Thrones? Longmire? The Good Fight? The Crown? And never look at the clock until you finish.
  6. Learn to play an instrument.
  7. Take a cooking class.
  8. Travel within your city, then state. Travel abroad.
  9. Hike a nearby trail. Hike a mountain. Travel overnight and hike a 14er – A 14er is a 14,000 ft mountain. (Colorado has 57 to choose from!)
  10. Even better, hike a 13er and you will have hundreds of less people on the path. They are all focused on the 14ers!
  11. Paint your closet? Room? House? Fence?
  12. Take a knitting or crochet class.
  13. Photograph the things you love.
  14. Learn to fly-fish.
  15. Visit local coffee shops, farmer’s markets, libraries, churches, botanical gardens, or whatever it is that sings to you.
  16. Join a Meetup and find others who share your passions.
  17. Start a bookclub. Or join one. Start at your local library. They either have one or can help you start one.
  18. Start a blog.
  19. Read other blogs.
  20. * Make comments on blogs (begin with mine and comment below).
  21. Get your library card. Then go visit the library and see what they have to offer. Check out the books you promised yourself you would read!
  22. Get a dog. Then take daily or 2x daily walks. You will both benefit.
  23. Download podcasts that appeal to your passions.
  24. Learn to play pickleball.
  25. Learn how to access online audio library books (free from your library) such as Libby, Overdrive and Hoopla. Audible is ok too if you want to pay for the books (which is a good thing, of course).
  26. Take a road trip. Just to the next town or maybe the next state or country?
  27. Like music? Go to youtube.com and sing along with your favorite bands.
  28. Learn the lyrics to new songs and sing at the top of your voice in the shower, in the kitchen, in your yard (while you are weeding!)
  29. Make time for exercise – of course, now you have LOTS OF TIME and no more excuses.
  30. Lift weights. Your bones will thank you.
  31. Go to the movies. Find the theaters that give discounts to Happily After Retired people like you and me. 😊
  32. Do more of what makes you happy!Volunteer your time at a local food bank, theater, school, nursing home, or hospital. Find the thing that stirs your soul and donate your time. If you decide its not a good fit, move on to the next thing.
  33. Start a movement. Weekly coffee dates? Morning walks? Wine tours? Kayak adventures? Writing sessions? Music jams? What’s important to you? Decide and create a group of others who feel the same. Then set a time and date and make it happen.

What have you always wanted to do and now you GET to do it? Something I’ve mentioned? Something you might share? Would love to hear it.

 

Resources:

 

Just a taste – Seneca Lake Wineries

Finger Lakes Wine Country, NY

Three sisters checking out the Finger Lakes Wines on a Sunday afternoon in May! Yumm!

 

Lots of places to choose from that’s for sure!
Enough to keep us busy for the day!
Slow-paced and fun!


One thing you might really enjoy about our Sunday outing was our plan was to actually go to the Cayuga Lake Wine Tour and enjoy those wineries but a wrong turn here, too much talking there, and a bit of laughter from the back seat (that would be the middle sister – ME!) and what do you know … we landed in Seneca Lake area instead. Cool. It’s all cool!

Three sisters visiting White Springs Winery, Seneca Lake, NY

 

The Finger Lakes located in Central New York are actually eleven small lakes that face north/south and give the effect of looking like fingers. (At least to me they do!)
My two favorite lakes, Cayuga and Seneca are some of the deepest in the US.  The lakes are long but narrow (giving the illusion of fingers from above) and the region is highly suited for growing grapes.

The eleven lakes are listed below:

  • Otisco Lake
  • Skaneateles Lake
  • Owasco Lake
  • Cayuga Lake
  • Seneca Lake
  • Keuka Lake
  • Canandaigua Lake
  • Honeoye Lake
  • Canadice Lake
  • Hemlock Lake
  • Conesus Lake

Seneca NY Wine Trail
Seneca NY Wine Trail

 

Making Friends Outside My Circle

There are no new ideas. Not really.So when a statement stands out from the rest, it makes me sit taller and pay attention. Bonnie Truax writes, as a way to reinvent yourself she suggests I make friends with people outside my circle. YES! That clicks for me!

I just read an article on 43BlueDoors.com titled Three Keys to Reinventing Your Life by Bonnie Truax. They are: 

  1. Challenge your own thoughts
  2. Live with a purpose
  3. Spend life differently

This article actually offered me something new to think about.  It’s like when I read a book or attend a seminar or find new blogs  – I am always looking for that sweet spark of something I didn’t know before. They don’t often exist, you know.
I like Ted.com and Ted Talks and can immerse myself in various subjects, however, it’s mostly people offering insight, wisdom and steps on various topics but often, it’s the same information over and over. There are no new ideas. Not really.

So when a statement stands out from the rest, it makes me sit taller and pay attention.

Bonnie writes, as a way to reinvent yourself she suggests I make friends with people outside my circle. As I let this sink in, I understand doing this helps me expand my world view, pushes me to be more tolerant, view stories with a new set of eyes and helps me (forces me?) to grow.  Making friends outside my current circle of friends will introduce me to new ideas, arts, music, issues, foods, events and the end result — a better me. And, new friends!

I hope you read Bonnie’s article and find something in it that will push you to grow as well.

And if she doesn’t spark your imagination, keep reading blogs, listening to podcasts, watching youtube.com, read or listen to books, sign up for talks,  or just go to coffee shops and listen in on your neighbor. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend. And, maybe it will be me – I hope so!

Resources & websites:

Missing Maggie Rogers

I over-thought an adventure and missed out on it. (sad face…)

Bummer for me.

BIG LESSON LEARNED. Shall I take you there?

In September, when I was in Pagosa Springs,  a friend had me listen to some music by Maggie Rogers. After I returned home, I listened to everything she had to offer on youtube.com. I was in heaven. And I was determined to go and listen to her play.

LUCKY FOR ME! She was playing in Denver – a mere hour from where I live. And, I checked out the Ogden Theater, looked at the seats for the TWO nights she was playing and then over-thinked it. Yes, you think perhaps it’s not a word? You would be wrong. I over-thinked how to get to the venue, what kind of venue it was ( a total stand-up sort of place?, seats? Theater seating?} And in the over-thinking process, I froze. I checked out the location, viewed it on google maps, looked at the neighborhood and didn’t take action. (Sighs of regret as I type…)

For God’s sake — Maggie was playing in Colorado. I live in Colorado. Yet, by the time I was moved to act, she had performed on Saturday Night Live, Seth Myers, Stephen Colbert and all the other places late night shows and people fell in love with her. Oh yeah, then she starred on Ellen!!!  SHAME ON ME. (… more sighs of regret.)

What is wrong with me? I found her first! I could have acted in October. But I didn’t. I know this is something that we all do to some degree. Procrastinate for some strange reason and then regret our inaction. Darn it all.

It makes me sad I missed out on buying a ticket and going to hear her lovely voice.

Darn it all! I really want to swear but this might be PG13 blog and I want to be respectful. DARN IT ALL!

And so, the lesson is to JUST LEAP. Go. If I have to go alone… JUST GO!

We all miss out on stuff – authors, speakers, wine tastings, vacations, reunions, concerts (ugh!), great fares to Kauai, restaurant openings, river rafting, sunrise hikes…

I can say it’s because I don’t want to do it alone – but – sometimes its just the act of hitting the SUBMIT button.

So, how about this –  in March, I will hit the SUBMIT button at least once every week. That’s 4 hits. Four SUBMITS.

And I will let you know how it goes.

And if you do the same, please let me know how it unfolds for you.

Remember, when we are in the last hours leading to our death, we want to be smiling… Which means we have to be bold RIGHT NOW.  Let’s just do it.

Related Sites and Resources: