Key Takeaways:

GetSetUp Guide Cyndi is navigating her retirement in Houston, Texas, with a heart full of compassion and a curious mind. She started her journey of compassion by rescuing dogs without a home. She currently cares for five furry friends - Zippy, Tanner, Patches, Prince, and Sissy, all dogs who were once abandoned and have now found a loving home with Cyndi. 

To help her stay active as she ages, she’s found that the dogs help, and she’s really started to enjoy walking. Not only has walking helped her physically to stay well as she's dealing with different health issues, but she also found the app YesFit, which is helping to keep her motivated. 

"The app does virtual races. It logs what I walk through my Apple Watch, and when I reach the end of the race challenge, it gives me a commemorative coin. That's been really motivating." 

For Cyndi, this simple act of walking not only keeps her physically fit but also provides a therapeutic escape, allowing her to listen to music and relive cherished memories. Often times she’s accompanied on these walks with one or more of her four-legged friends. 

Cyndi shows hospitality by helping others, particularly her friends dealing with health issues. She often helps with chores around the house for friends who can’t easily do some tasks, and 

she often helps a friend with mobility issues by helping her keep up with her Plumeria plants.

"She's not as mobile as she used to be, so when she needs some help with moving her plants into her greenhouse, I go and help with the move,"  Cyndi shared. Her selflessness and dedication to helping her friends embody the true essence of being hospitable as one ages. 

Recently, she’s also started to volunteer actively online with Nextdoor, an app that she also teaches a GetSetUp class about. She serves as one of the moderators for comments on the site. 

"That's a kind of a fun thing I have been doing for the last 6 or 8 months, and it helps me with my class," she explained. Through Nextdoor, Cyndi engages with her community, answers questions, and ensures that posts align with the platform's guidelines, offering her valuable insights and support.

As an avid reader, Cyndi dedicates time to staying informed about the latest scams - another topic that helps her stay insightful for her GetSetUp classes. Her goal is to empower her peers to protect themselves from scams, often expressing her astonishment at the naivety of some people. She educates people on the importance of being cautious and vigilant in the digital age.

Cyndi's boldness in aging is evident in her role as a GetSetUp Guide. She acknowledged the challenge of teaching to a camera but has overcome it with determination. 

"I always assume there are 10,000 people watching the video, even if I can’t see anyone. I try to show the same awareness and intrigue to questions and really teach. I’m a firm believer that if you don't know, don't bluff your audience.  I prefer to research and send an answer in the follow up notes for a class" she emphasized. 

Cyndi's journey of empowerment and curiosity continues with her involvement in monthly luncheons with former colleagues. These meetings provide a platform to discuss healthcare and employment-related issues, offering guidance and support to her friends who still work in a hospital environment. 

"I feel like they are my kids in some ways, and it means a lot to me that they still come to me for advice, even now, three years after I’ve retired," she said, highlighting her commitment to empowering others.

One of her favorite GetSetUp classes is the "Counting Your Blessings" class, where she explores emotions and feelings. 

"Each time I think the class might be boring, one of the learners will say something about needing the class to help get through a difficult day," Cyndi shared. 

Cyndi regularly fosters emotional well-being in others alongside fun and interactive aspects, especially through her Friday night Kahoot quizzes, which provide an opportunity to connect and enjoy while learning. 

Plus, Cyndi's own curiosity knows no bounds. She described herself as a "newsaholic" and expressed fascination with learning about world affairs and their impact on everyday life. She often learns new things about world affairs that she didn’t pay attention to in her younger days.

"A lot of times I think, 'Wow, I didn't know that was going on there in the '70s,'" she mused. 

Her newfound interest in global dynamics demonstrates her commitment to staying intellectually engaged. When asked about her most recent curiosities, Cyndi mentioned the desire to explore opportunities to slow down and be present in the moment. She enjoys sitting on her circular  swing, observing her surroundings, and letting her mind wander—a practice that brings her profound peace and a sense of freedom.

“Being able to go to the grocery store or the beach during the week in retirement is so freeing.  A lot of people have a hard time with unstructured days and it took a while to get used to that, especially after working in health care. But it's so nice not to have that racing pace in my brain now. I can go for a walk, make lemonade, or do whatever and just be in the moment.” 

Cyndi's involvement with GetSetUp has presented her with numerous opportunities to learn and grow. She appreciates the platform's willingness to support her in exploring new classes and topics, and she values the constant learning it offers her. She enjoys having a reason to go into her office and research a topic in-depth to prepare for an upcoming class. 

“I’ve learned so much from preparing these classes, and teaching them gives me the push I need to keep learning.”

To stay active both physically and mentally, Cyndi has embraced biking, walking, and engaging with GetSetUp classes. Her social life is rich, filled with gatherings with friends, family, and her caregiving responsibilities.

Through her involvement with GetSetUp and her commitment to helping others, she's not only empowering herself but also leaving a positive impact on her community. 

“GetSetUp is my moral booster. If I can make one person smile or learn something, it makes my day!”
Oct 17, 2023
Community Stories

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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