Monday, September 21, 2015

Profiles in Third Thirds: Sherry

Sherry and I have been friends since high school. Last summer, she and her husband quit, retired, sold their house, and moved to their cabin in the Yosemite area. When Sherry read my blog, she sent me a note with phrases like this:
“I learned that I love and need a schedule of activities to help me organize my days.”
“I learned that I need to be around other women and I need to exercise!”
“I also need to be around children and help in a classroom!”
Uh, oh, I can read between the lines: all that learning meant Sherry had figured out life wasn’t so good without those things. Sure enough, she said they’d never really planned any of this to happen, but when the ball started rolling, it went unexpectedly fast, and she found herself without “a job, a schedule of daily events, or close friends to hang out with…. After retiring and moving, there was an abrupt halt after a life of movement. I did visit … friends and we also did some traveling, but when we were home all day, I was lonely. I didn't know exactly what I needed or wanted.”

Sherry had been a much in-demand tutor and had a very full schedule. Now she was asking, “What should I be doing? What is my purpose?”

Oh, she and her husband had spent the last year “getting our lives in order: our cabin, our finances, our cars, our travel, our health insurance, our digital & paper files, our photos, our old clothes, our furniture, our recreation, ad nauseum!”

So cleaning out the detritus of our lives doesn’t count as purpose…. But this is a very happy story because Sherry discovered Silver Sneakers!
Silver Sneakers is a gym class “with a boisterously funny and warmly welcoming group of women our age. Talking to the women in the silver sneakers class taught me a lot about the area, like shopping, hiking, swimming at the high school, local events, and that, in turn made my life richer.”

She’s now working with a personal trainer and filed an application to volunteer in a kindergarten class. “We bought kayaks and go out to explore our lake in the early morning before the boats are allowed to tow skiers, between 7 and 8 am. At the top of one of the tallest trees is a huge eagle’s nest and sometimes we get to see the mother and baby eagles up there.”

What a happy Third Third story! Is there a Silver Sneakers in your life?

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