I am a great fan of emails, but I am impressed with people who still hand-write notes.
One showed up in my post office box a few weeks ago from Nancy Hasenfratz, of Kingfisher. I've kept it.
Al Ross, of Midwest City, sends emails. He reminded me the first time he wrote was 2004 when we both celebrated our 65th birthdays.
In 2004, he told me he had been a child raised in poverty, homelessness and abuse. His dream was to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. On his 65th birthday, he bought one.
Eight years later, Al still has that Harley, still rides it and has since added a 2005 Touring Harley, which has taken him to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and to Gettysburg, Pa.
While Al's life on the other side of 65 has not been perfect, he always sets out to find his way back to joy. He exercises and stays strong so he can make those long rides, meeting new people and making new friends. He wrote, “I have come to understand what it means to not only have years in my life, but to experience life in my years.”
However, one size does not fit all, writes Linda Wheeler, of Oklahoma City. She reminded me that while dancing, lunching, volunteering and staying busy are good for many at retirement age, it's not for everyone.
After working, attending meetings, living by schedules, making to-do lists and taking care of what was expected of her all of her life, Linda now enjoys those days when she sits on the sideline and observes life going by — “enjoying symphonies, reading and absorbing restful serenity.”
Lazy is now good, she says with pride, and she ended her note saying, “Now I think I will go for a walk — or maybe not.”
Elray Allen, of Elk City, shared a moment that happened the day before Thanksgiving as she was rushing through a grocery store. Nearly running over the same little man three or four times, she finally apologized. He looked at her with a sweet smile and said, “Ma'am, if I'd been in a hurry, I would have started sooner.”
So whether it's being busy, strolling leisurely, finding a quiet place to ponder or taking a nap, the bottom line is to find what works for you and to honor that.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at email@example.com.