I’ve never been old before so this is a new experience for me. After retiring from a 37-year career, I found myself adrift. What should I do now? The days seemed very long as I pondered what I should fill them with. Life looks very different when you remove yourself from the “working world.” You feel as though you are invisible when you are with other people.

“What do you do?

“I’m retired.”

“Oh. What did you use to do?”

Joy Fellowship members always cherish getting together at every meeting.

Joy Fellowship members always cherish getting together at every meeting.

Already you begin to feel as though life is now passing you by — at least in the eyes of others.

The next phase in this process of aging out of the working world is to rethink whether you should have retired or not.

“Maybe it was too soon. Maybe I should have kept working.”

This definitely did not help me in adjusting to the life I am now living.

Finally, I realized there was no turning back. I needed to face what was ahead and make the most of it.

Now that you are not part of a work community, you can feel isolated. Well, I’ve always heard that if you want a friend then be a friend. Maybe it was time to try this out. As I began taking the initiative and making lunch appointments, I found that others were going through the same experiences as I was. This shared feeling made me feel better.

Then I began to hear about different activities available during the week for retirees — but nothing sounded good to me. Then I heard about something at our church that was open to all. You didn’t need to attend our church or even go to church at all, so I decided to try it out. It turned out to be just what I needed.

Photo of Steven enjoying the company of his friends, Ginny and Ada.

(L–R) Steven enjoys the company of his friends, Ginny and Ada.

Joy Fellowship meets every Thursday from 9 am to noon and is open to non-church or other church seniors. It is a well-planned time that includes a variety of activities — crafts, singing, sharing, exercises, a short message of interest — to keep people involved and entertained. The morning ends with a healthy lunch.

There are also special events during the year, such as monthly visits from the Kalihi Union Church Preschool (it’s great to see seniors and children together), a day trip to Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Gardens (includes a ride in a school bus, unless you drive) and a Senior Olympics usually held during the summer. Currently, there are about 80 seniors attending.

It’s not easy in today’s world to find a place you can go to and feel cared for — especially if you are a senior. Joy Fellowship is open to all and perhaps if you are reading this, you will be motivated to check them out on Thursdays at Kalihi Union Church.