We are very pleased to contribute to the valuable Kaleidoscope section of the Amigos web site. In this our first posting, let us introduce ourselves and what you can expect from our postings.
After several decades developing and running health-related services for older people, as well as eight years writing our “Growing Older” newspaper and online column in the San Francisco Bay Area, we retired in January of 2011. We enjoy our time at our casa in Bucerias and in the Bay of Banderas/Riviera Nayarit community from November until May. Then we base ourselves for the rest of the year in our long-time home in Oakland, California, from which we visit relatives in the U.S. and travel abroad.
Originally in our columns and currently in our free blog “Star Guide for Growing Older,” we have written about various ways people can continue or expand long held or newfound interests and involvements during their retirement. After many years of direct experience with frail elderly people and their senior or boomer children, we have much to share about health, losses, family dynamics, spiritual and psychological challenges and opportunities related to aging, and new adventures sought, found and embraced by people who want to continue growing rather than just getting older.
We plan to write posts for you on such topics, and we welcome any questions or ideas you may have that also are relevant to other Amigos web site visitors. In this first post, let us share a totally unplanned, but immeasurably creative and satisfying development that we have embraced in our relatively new retirement.
Between Sandy’s expertise as a registered nurse and manager, and Roger’s talents as a service business developer and a writer, we partnered to create and run elder care and care management companies which were acquired before we retired three years ago. Although pre-retirement planning can have great value, we had no plans except to split our time between Bucerias and Oakland. Early on, Sandy had a colorful feather installed in her hair. Although she had no known talent as an artesan, she explored feather installation in the hair as a hobby. It became clear that she had a gift for helping people brighten their look with fun feather hair adornments and earrings.
From exposure at outdoor markets and social events, Sandy soon became known as the “Feather Lady” along Banderas Bay/Riviera Nayarit. Just like in pre-retirement, Roger started working with Sandy on marketing and administration, and has been responding to market visitors’ interest and questions when Sandy is engaged with installing feather extensions in clients’ hair.
We know that among the many retirees who live in this area part- or full-time, there are countless personal stories of adventure and discovery equally as striking as our feather surprise and other memories in the making. We look forward to sharing some of our insights into growing older and to receiving your feedback and ideas related to postings on our blog and the Amigos web site.
Finally, be assured that we know that retirement is not exclusively for adventures and discoveries. We affirm the need to sometimes be quiet, to get in touch with our inner needs and aspirations, and to wait until opportunity presents itself for deepening, expanding or cutting back our involvements in our senior years.