Great! (Although at times I felt guilty in taking time off to give back to myself!)

It must be the protestant work ethic so prevalent in North America, i.e. “live to work, versus work to live”.

I took some time to give back to myself and in-turn I had more energy and optimism to give to others. I tried to be intentional with my conversations, giving support where needed and most of all listening to others.

I did go to the cabin at the lake for a week and even got my mom to stay a few days.

‘A’, my mother-in-law, Gerrie and my Mom, Geraldine.

This was a big step for her, as there are so many memories of Dad, and Grandma and Grandpa Dennis tied into this place. I shed a tear or two, but it was what Dad wanted for us to go on and enjoy life.

In the past, sitting in front of the cabin at the lake with Mom and Dad.

I think a birthday card verse Dad picked out (in 2022) shows how important it is to be true to yourself.

For My Daughter

Watching your write the story of your life has been amazing.

I’ve been so proud of you as you’ve followed your heart, and decided who you are and who you want to be.

And with every birthday, I’m excited for you – just thinking about all the wonderful dreams you have yet to imagine.

So, my wish for you is that you will always remember this… You are smarter, stronger, and more beautiful than even you can imagine…

And I love you so very much.

This chokes me up every time I read it. But I wanted to share this message with you, my dear friends, as this it true for you too.

Try not to Over Complicate Things

I think at the end of the day, it is all about taking the time to reach-out to others, show compassion and be kind.

It can be that simple.

I think it is my brain that likes to over complicate things.

Help Where You Can

Arie and I felt good with our time at the lake, as we tried to help out by fixing the screen in the patio door, replacing the front door, re-finishing the back door and replacing the locks. It was long over due! And when I say ‘we’, it was actually ‘A’ who did the work. (😉)

‘A’ fixing the cabin at Buffalo Lake.

Community Is Important

We also had Arie’s Mom out from Kimberley and she also stayed at the cabin for 2 nights. We went into Stettler for one evening and attended a long-table dinner.  The dinner included local produce from the area and the table was set up on the main-street of Stettler. They had the street blocked off.

It was really interesting to see all the local small business’s (sheep-lamb, wine, beer brewery, goat milk- cheesecake, flowers, distillery, vegetables, etc.) The sense of community was strong and everyone was in good spirits sharing food and getting to know the people at the table. It was a nice evening and then when the sun set they had music and dancing.

Long Table Dinner – Main-street, Stettler

I think this is all an important point for aging well with giving back to your community. Collectively being part of something bigger than yourself and focusing on others.

What do you think?

I know it is more difficult in the city to know your neighbors and to be a part of your community, but it could be something to look into to increase your sense of belonging. I don’t think it means you have to be friends with your neighbors (great, if you are), but rather if there are activities in the neighborhood, become involved or volunteer with events.

It was something I wanted to do when I came back from the Netherlands in 2016, but I never really got involved as I kept putting it off. Something to consider.

Re-acquainting and Reaching out to Old Friends can be an Energy Boost

The other event that happened in August was my 40th high-school reunion and that is a bit of mind-bender when you see people from high-school 40 years later! I am not sure if this is related to the topic of ‘giving back’, but it certainly relates to aging well. Let’s just say, that some people have aged better than others.

I came away from the event with positive feelings as people were kind and seemed happy to see each other after all this time. There weren’t a lot of egos and people trying to impress each other with their accomplishments, but rather a genuine interest in seeing past friends and acquaintances.

I think that is also the secret of aging well, is not taking yourself so seriously and enjoying the moments as they come your way.

So all in all, August’s experiment of giving back to myself was a welcome energy booster. I hope by sharing this message that it brought some cheer your way.

As always, take care, and live well.

How did I feel after giving back’ in August’s Experiment of Aging Well

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