Volunteer vs. Retired

Dec 01

Volunteer vs. Retired

“You have committed to so many projects, you don’t have time to be retired.” Dan Boyle

I found this quote in a post I never published from 6 years ago. It holds true today. I am not content with the word retired. We need a better word for those of us not working for pay. We are working as volunteers  for  clubs, organization, social service agencies , and a host of other entities.

The dictionary says retired means ” having left one’s job and ceased to work.” Well, we may have left our paying jobs but we have not ceased to work. Volunteers are the backbone of our country in many organizations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report, Volunteering in America, 2015, that indicated over 11,000,000 people over age 65 volunteered. Research indicates that older volunteers “contribute more hours than any other age group, are more likely to be content with their voluntary work and to stick with it.”

Ann and Dan photo

Volunteer Appreciation Party

Charlestown recognizes our value as volunteers with recognition pins and an annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. This year’s theme was Superheros. We both attended.  As our volunteer coordinator says, “the rewards are priceless.”

Dan takes residents in wheelchairs to the Wednesday Mass at the Care Center. He also makes as he describes, “high-quality mac & cheese” for the Daily Bread, the hot food program run by Catholic Charities. He was elected to the Our Lady of the Angels Parish Council last month.

My interests include the Apple Charlestown User Group and being the webmaster of the Charlestown resident-sponsored website, ccicharlestown.org. I am still on  the Residents’ Council as Past President.

So retired doesn’t work for me. Facebook, for example, does not provide a title for being a volunteer. You are either working or retired. I ended up using self-employed as blogger and webmaster. It doesn’t work for many of us. In fact, as the baby boomers reach their “retirement” they don’t want to sit on the sidelines either. Ageism rears its head even with volunteers. The older population is an untapped resource for civic engagement in the years ahead.

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Senior Hall of Fame

Nov 28

Ann Senior hall of Fame

Ann MacKay and Dan Boyle

It was a surprise and delight for me to be nominated and then selected for the Maryland Senior Hall of Fame. Fifty others  were inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 27, 2016. Bert Clegern, another Charlestown resident, was also inducted. A bus load of friends attended. The Baltimore Sun did a nice story on the Senior Hall of Fame as well as Erickson Living.

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Ageism in Real Life

Oct 13

Ageism in Real Life

After my blog post in July,  Stop Ageism Now, I received several comments from my fellow residents as well as the author, Ashton Applewhite.  My fellow residents do not like being called “sweetie,” “honey,” or “dearie”  either. It is pervasive in our society from the hairdresser to hospital personnel.

I am vouch for that after a  22-hour EMS and hospital experience in which I was called “dear” rather than my name during my entire encounter the EMS responder which included an ambulance ride and the hour wait for a stretcher in the ER.

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Stop Ageism Now

Jul 31

Stop Ageism logo

I am so tired of being called sweetie or honey just because I have gray hair. Yes, I know “hon” is a name of endearment here in Baltimore. If you know me, most people will not describe me as sweet. Do you notice their voice takes on a different tone? I notice. What we are dealing with here is ageism. It is the last “ ism” that people can get away with now.

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Happiness is…

Jun 27

learning imageI am a lifelong learner. It doesn’t mean I am taking college courses although I have in retirement. It means I like to pursue knowledge on a variety of topics and in a variety of ways.

Fortunately, I don’t have to leave home to attend classes. The Elderhostel’s Lifelong Learning Institute at Charlestown  or ELLIC as we call it offers programs with outside speakers as well as residents who are experts in their field.

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Bullet Journaling

Mar 29

Bullet Journaling

RhodiaI respect the bloggers that have the disciple to write weekly or even more often. Many bloggers even earn their living with monetized blogs. Not me.  I don’t blog to get more readers. I blog for fun and to “stuff” share with family and friends.

This month I will tell about a new experiment in organizing my life. It is a Bullet Journal. It is a simple and flexible way to keep track of daily to-do lists, monthly tasks, future plans as well as goals and planning efforts. I won’t detail the steps because Ryder Carroll, the inventor explains it nicely in this video. It replaces fancy planners and calendars. All you need is a notebook and a pen.  I have used so many types of planners over the years, that it is refreshing to do what I want without being forced into someone’s else’s structure.

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