Cape Gazette
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Retirement 101

Life is a house with heart-shaped rocks

By Lisa Graff | Jan 20, 2013

I heard from one local resident who said she smiled when she read the last column about too much togetherness. “Years ago, I read a book called Simple Abundance which suggested we think about life as a house with different rooms and that we should visit one room each day - physically, spiritually and intellectually. It worked for me. I joined a gym, read, am part of a religious community and have girls’ night out often!” My reader mentioned many places to volunteer including Shields Elementary HOSTS program, senior centers, a knitting group making caps and blankets for children undergoing chemo, and friends of Canal Park and Prime Hook. Thank you for writing!

Last week I met the Rev. Rita B. Nelson, who shared her thoughts with me. Rita felt that her first months of retirement “felt like falling off a cliff…we yearn for retirement, we itch for that free time … until we wake up and realize … now what? If we’re not careful, we can fall into a syndrome of not letting go. But if we are resilient, we’ll dust ourselves off, say goodbye to that part of our life, and move on to whatever new and interesting challenges await us.” Wow, this was exactly how I felt too. Now I feel kind of stupid for trying to hold onto the past because now my present feels so promising. Rita told me that she has written a book and I suggested she join the Rehoboth Beach Writers' Guild. Not only did Rita join, she signed up for Steve Robison’s class on self-publishing. Rita, I wish you well and hope to meet again at one of our monthly events. If you think you may like to write for publication or just for fun, check out the website: www.rehobothbeachwritersguild.com and see if something strikes your fancy! (Like maybe my two-hour essay class on Feb. 2 at the Cultured Pearl, which is available and affordable!)

On Sunday afternoon my husband Ray and I walked the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park. He likes to go where the lighthouse is and where the ocean meets the bay as the bird life there is more abundant. We actually watched a seal swim along the coast. His little head and whiskers kept bobbing out the water every so often. Seals swim quite fast and he outdistanced us very quickly. So I began looking for stones in the shape of a heart, as my friend Holly collects these. Most of the time all I find are rocks shaped like noses - Jimmy Durante or Elmo. But I found one heart and will save it for my friend’s collection. She keeps her heart rocks in a large bowl the size of a wok in her kitchen where visitors can marvel at their heart-shaped accuracy. I am attracted to rocks too. Now there is a new idea - what do some of you retirees collect? Dust bunnies, never-used recipes and jars of screws do not count.

OK, folks, that’s all the retirement news this week as I think some of you are too shy to write to me and I only got two emails last week, which is not good for my poor husband who is out golfing in the rain. We would prefer to write about you, OK?

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