Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1039662

Retirement 101

Seize the joy in life

By Lisa Graff | Aug 11, 2013

“I read your chicken diaper article a few weeks back to my husband Lou,” writes Jane. “I could barely get through it as we were both cracking up, with tears of laughter streaming down our cheeks. It felt so good to laugh hard. If only it could replace my daily sit-up routine! Thank you for your ideas of things to do in the area. Lou loves to hike, and we enjoy attending monthly charity dinners, Chicks for Charity. Every month a different charity is supported at Fish On and this month the charity is Center for the Inland Bays. ”

Sue from Georgetown says, “I’ve played three different games in one week. Besides bingo I play dominoes, the Mexican train version. This type allows extra lines going as well as our personal ones. Heaven knows I could barely work on my own let alone figure out the others. Whew! I also play Bunco, which is a dice game and I love it! And about that diaper business, we could use BIG ones for the geese around the ponds in my neighborhood of Cinderberry!”

Sometimes attending local lectures can be stimulating. Last week I attended a lecture at All Saints’ Church titled “Spirituality in the Second Half of Life,” given by the Rev. J. Tom Ledbetter, who is a pastoral psychotherapist at Brandywine Institute of Lewes and Wilmington. He explained how in the first part of life we are climbing the ladder of success. Then in the second part of our lives we begin the descent. He asked some hard questions of a mature audience: What am I giving my energies to? Do I wait for permission to seize the joy in life? Why am I so restless? I went home feeling quite restless. I am not climbing the academic ladder, but I may have jumped on a different ladder as I give attention to my writing career. If I put too much emphasis on getting published, then I might miss seizing the joy in life. I bet there are lots of retirees who trade in their ladders for new ones.

Jane mentioned she likes to support charities. When I am volunteering to help others, the ladder seems suspended in the clouds for a time. I am not climbing or falling. Life seems complete and calm. I don’t need anything or anyone to make me happy.

Since we had never experienced seeing the annual sandcastle contest held Aug. 3, Rayquest and I parked a mile away from the Rehoboth beach scene and were pleasantly surprised that we could walk around and take pictures of each one. Fun in the sun! One gentleman was teaching the children a few carving tricks! On the journey back we stopped at the Iguana Grill for some cold brews and the nacho platter. Happy hour patrons! I am not telling you how long it took to get back home again, but we cranked up the XM radio, rolled down the windows and waited our turn. On Sunday we strolled through bucolic Lewes at a much slower pace, bought sticky buns from Amy’s Bake Shoppe, sat on a bench and devoured them. Giving our energies to our own tummies.

If you have written to me in the past few months, I may not have received your email. I assumed my readers were shy when I simply wasn’t getting the messages. So if you have not seen anything in this column, please resend what you wrote to lgraff@capegazette.com.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.