ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Growing Old in Westchester

Updated on October 14, 2018
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.

Introduction

This essay is my way of imparting some wisdom to others about growing old and staying active and being happy. I thought about writing this a while ago. One thing lead to another and I just kept putting it off. Now that I am 67 years old, I better put it down on paper before I forget.

- Oct. 2018

My Idea of Happiness

I am truly blessed and I thank God everyday for my current life. I am healthy and retired, having had a long wonderful career. My wife and I raised a great family, with three adult children all independent and productive members of our society. What else can I ask for?

I read once that happiness is a choice. That is to say, we can choose to think a glass to be half full instead of half empty. That is a great way to think about it. Not being too philosophical, it is so true. We do have control over our state of mind. We can let our short comings depress us or we can choose to be happy with what we have.

Everything in life is relative. Our views of the world is relative to where we are in life, where we live. Therefore, our happiness is relative to our environment. A person living in China has different view about happiness. When I was on vacation a few years ago and I visited a small village in western China, the locals live in the most primitive surroundings from my perspective. Yet, they seem perfectly happy. They have very little modern conveniences or money or education or status. They live a simple life. Happiness to them is as simple as seeing a blond haired foreign visitor to their small village.

In my own case, I remember when I was small and growing up in Taiwan, happiness was playing a game of marbles with the neighbors. Winning made me happy. As I grew up, in each stage of my life, my sense of hapiness changed and evolved. I was happy when we immigrated to America at age 10. I was happy getting my first job as a paperboy at age 13. I was happy participating on the high school math team. I was happy graduating HS with high honors and getting in to a free college, CCNY. I was happy making the Varsity Fencing team and winning my bouts. I was happy graduating and earning my bachelor of Engineering degree. I was happy to get a job working for IBM. I was happy buying my first brand new automobile a sporty Toyota Celica.

At each stage of my life, I was growing and my expectations grew and what made me happy changed and grew as well. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of disappointments. Not getting the grade I wanted. Not winning a key bout that would get me to the finals. Not getting the promotion I was expecting...

Now in the autumn of my years, I have a chance to reflect and reminisce. I had a great and fulfilling life. I am happy with myself. I am satisfied with what I accomplished. I am proud of my career and I am happy to make all the friends and colleagues along the way. I am content.

As we all experienced, growing old is not fun. Not being able to see or read the small prints. Not being able to hear conversations across the room. Not being able to climb up that hill or flight of stairs with ease. With each passing year, we loose a little skill and a little independence.

Yet I am happy. What is the secret? It is very simple really. I choose to be happy. I choose to look on the bright side. I choose to be optimistic. I choose to be positive.

The “power of positive thinking“ was a popular book written by Norman Vincent Peale. It is so true.

In my retirement years living is Westchester, I found new happiness. I found happiness in the simple things in life. Sitting in my backyard and enjoying my garden. Hiking in the woods by Teatown Reservation. Driving to and shopping at Woodbury Commons Outlet mall. Visiting the local library and borrowing and reading a great book. Taking a leisure drive along the Hudson river. Attending a colloquium at the Palisades campus of the LDEO.

Getting back to fencing as an exercise. Helping and volunteering at our local Archives. Playing my harmonica after years of neglect. Organizing a reunion with some of my old teammates. These are some simple activities that bring me happiness and joy. I have very low expectations these days. A simple meal and a cold beer will make my day. Seeing grand neices and nephrews at birthday parties make me smile.

Helping others and donating to good causes are a great way to feel happy. It seems counter intuitive but it is a fact of life. Giving is better than receiving, especially in our old age. Who needs all that stuff anyway. After all, you can’t take it with you.

A wise financial advisor said, plan your retirement such that you run out of your money the day you die.

A Slice of Heaven

Charles Point, Peekskill NY

Summary

My life in Westchester is wonderful. I really think I hit the jackpot of life. To be retired and living is a great county, so close to NYC and having the means to do what I want. How great is that?

I am thankful for living in the county of Westchester, in the State of NY, in the United States of America in the year 2018. We are an exceptional nation and we are the light and freedom of the world. That shining city on the hill as Ronald Reagan once said. After 30 years, we are still that city shining even brighter. Under president Trump, we are reaching new heights and America is Great again. God bless the USA.

© 2018 Jack Lee

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      10 months ago from UK

      It's great to read such an upbeat article. In a climate that so often seems to be doom and gloom, especially if you are caught up in the midst of Brexit negotiations, as we are in the UK, it is encouraging to come across such positivity.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Intl, good for you. I am glad my article helped you in a small way. You made my day.

    • profile image

      Intl Brains 

      10 months ago

      Your article makes me feel better, definitely it reminds me that being happy is just part of our decision in life despite our problems. Yesterday I was truly sad crying the whole morning that made exhausted the rest of the day; however today I decided to be happy, look pretty, telling myself that we still animated to enjoy our rollercoaster in life.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      10 months ago from now on

      Jack, did you get it? When I said

      she'll probably drop out of college!

      or did you miss it? A hundred year old man married to a girl in college? Where's Paula? She'd have caught that and been calling me a dirty old man on my death bed!

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      10 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Well said, Jack. Not into fencing. At 83, golf is my game ( a short "Executive" course.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      T, that is some story. I don’t want to live to 100. I wrote an article about that. I think there is a slew of reasons why humans should not live beyond three generations. Even if our medical capabilities advanced to a stage to prolong human life span.

      The reason is our brain is not equiped to handle more than 200 people. I hope to die in my sleep quitely when the time comes. I have seen enough suffering from people with cancer or Alzheimer that I know I want to go quick. I won’t have any regrets since I am content with how I lived my life.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      10 months ago from now on

      Jack, speaking of growing old, how do you envision your death?

      I have friends I grew up with who died years ago. I don't plan on going soon though. I grew up with a kid who was drafted and saw combat in Vietnam. He was home on leave and took his brothers and sister and mother to a Jack in the Box for food and going through the drive thru the car in front of theirs wasn't moving or responding to beeping their horn so he got out of his car still in his uniform and walked to the driver's door to tell him to move it. As his family watched on, the driver who was on drugs pulled out a gun and blew him away. Just a horrible thing.

      My mom is over 100 now. She was a registered nurse, a Navy Nurse in WW2 and was stationed at Pearl Harbor after the attack. Spent 6 years there, what a gig! Dr. says she has the heart of a 60 year old.

      So I figure I'll live to be at least 100. That's another 33 years I've got at least.

      In that case when I get to 100 I think I'll die even though I know my wife at that time will be so distraught when I die .... she'll probably drop out of college!

      .....................................................

      Now jack, be honest, how long did it take for you to get that? :-)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      10 months ago

      Your slice of heaven looks like paradise!

    • tsadjatko profile image

      10 months ago from now on

      Lol sorry jack, I meant to say I didn't know as that. This auto correct thing can really be a pain. My fingers are just too big.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      10 months ago from now on

      I do DDF I'm know that. Thanks for the info. Then this is something I should do with my grandchildren. I have several foils and some equipment buried around here somewhere. I'll have to get on this.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Did you know fencing is the fastest growing sport among the youth?

      I wrote and published a quite few lessons for beginners here...

      https://hubpages.com/sports/Friends-of-CCNY-Fencin...

    • tsadjatko profile image

      10 months ago from now on

      I used a foil, never got too deep into it although I loved it, but now that you've brought it up I'm going to look into clubs.

      I'm a much bigger target now though, maybe I better think twice, lol

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      T, thanks for reading my piece. I am a member of a writers group and thought this would be a good topic for my next submission. I needed a break from all the political commentary.

      We have a few things in common...what weapon did you fence?

      I am an epeeist. I recently started fencing again after about 10 years hiatus. I joined the Fencers Club and work out once a week.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      10 months ago from now on

      Jack, we share one thing we can never change, your age! I like to fence but haven't done it in a long time but I got back to playing the harmonica too since I retired.

      You know when you write like this it's impossible to not like you. God bless you and yours.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)