September 18, 2016 — Marjorie Jamback
Lessons learned from “hobbies” or rather, Lessons learned in living life.
I always start with a smile.
Facing a winter without the support of relatives or neighbors close by, I realized that I had to do something about my situation of being alone last winter. I have been in similar situations at other stages in my life and eventually have done something about each situation. But it is easy to put off doing things you “should” do.
Although the following quote was by Raymond Lindquist, I found it on a tea bag years ago. It said: “Courage the power to let go of the familiar”. It brought me face to face with the motivation that I needed to make changes in my life.
It was that motivation that made me continue to pursue a college career after being a stay at home mother who did a great deal of volunteering while her children went through their school years. With the support and encouragement from my family, and courage, I graduated from Franconia College the day my daughter graduated from High School.
My husband and I moved to Maine while the children were in college and we enjoyed his retirement travelling in this country and several times in Europe, England and Finland. That kept us busy for quite a few years. I found time to work in a program called “Options for Elders”. The training for that job was exceptional and gave me a good awareness of what it might be like to age. It was a real grounding for me and for the next step taken in my life’s journey. With a husband who was 10 years my senior, I was beginning to wonder what I might do if something happened to him. It was then that a friend suggested that I go back to school and get a master’s degree. And that is what I decided to do.
Courage to let go of a very easy life was needed once more because I was going back to school at 62 years of age. I was being taught by professors who were 40 years younger than me! I was definitely out of my comfort zone. Again I was successful and got my degree and was employed for 18 years as a social worker. I graduated in 1997 and my husband died in 1998. My own retirement came when I was 80 years old. One of my sisters and neighbor of mine had died several years before I left work, but there was still another sister living across the street, so I was not alone.
Then, last summer she and her husband decided they were going to spend much of the winter in Florida. So, knowing how important community is in situations like mine, I decided I had to make a success out of being a part of a community. I chose the Union Church because I had a connection with the minister having known her and her mother when I was working. It is hard for me to put myself in situations where I have to sell myself, but I started going to church regularly and with help from some very wonderful and friendly people, and courage, the Union Church is now comfortably familiar. And, I have friends who are surrounding me and making me feel a part of this community. May I end this life lesson by saying a very heartfelt thank you to all who have made this most recent journey so successful.
This is my story so far and I know there will be other more difficult challenges that will demand the same courage that I have found along the way.