Martha found herself widowed twice in a four-year period of time. The first time she was working full-time in cardiology technology and had various side hustles including conference planning, medical education, and a jewelry-making business. While it was shocking and hard, she had a lot of other activities that kept her going.
“I’m a creature of habit. I've lived in the same house in Pennsylvania since it was built in 1973.”
She had the good fortune to meet another wonderful man a few years later. She retired then to spend time with him between their homes in California and Pennsylvania. They got married but sadly just 2.5 years later he suddenly passed.
“I found being widowed the second time and not working meant I had all this time on my hands. I had no life of my own because after I retired my husband and I had done everything together. It was extremely dramatic to be widowed a second time. I didn’t feel a reason to get out of bed for almost 15 months because I didn’t feel I had a purpose.”
Martha still had her daughter and grandkids but it took her some time before she felt she could get it together. She took the first step by picking up a newspaper and looking for a part-time job. She found one in data entry that allowed her to work when she wanted and that helped to get her out the door.
“I still couldn’t focus though until I took a class by a woman on grief counseling and transforming your life. The class made me realize every day is precious. We are in control of our own destiny, whether we choose to do nothing or make the most out of it. We never get today back and we aren’t promised tomorrow. I learned to live in the moment instead of rushing forward or hurting by living in the past.”
Martha has since put her efforts into coaching others facing aging issues and who may have lost a loved one through her coaching business Grow In Relationships.
“I like the coaching aspect. We focus on how the mind, body, and spirit transforms in each person’s life. It’s all about listening and asking questions to help people.”
A little over 2 years ago Martha met another wonderful man 13 years her senior, Chuck, who is inspiring her daily.
“He’s never idle and constantly learning. He lives his life intentionally every day like I do. Chuck’s mission statement is: identify needs, add value, and get results which he uses to mentor small businesses. When I see the people we can affect and help by showing how to live intentionally, it's an incredible feeling.”
Both Chuck and Martha participate in the GetSetUp community. They have enjoyed finding other people learning throughout life like themselves.
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Martha is using GetSetUp as a way to learn and explore enhancing her coaching business. She’s exploring different directions she sees herself expanding to help older adults age well. She sees a real need for a resource to help older adults navigate aging resources and plan futures they are looking forward to exploring.
“Using GetSetUp you can explore all types of things. I am hosting interest groups, which are great ways to use my ideas and test them out.”
Currently, Martha is hosting the Interest Group: Suddenly Solo. Plus she has other interest group ideas brewing that she's considering testing out.
“I am thrilled with GetSetUp because I have new opportunities and I'm learning so much! Everyone's lives in the community would be so different without GetSetUp.”
“Even though I’ve had an iPhone for years I learned a lot in these classes as the Guides do a wonderful job explaining things. Plus I learn from other people in the class what works for them."
Guides like Wade in his gratitude class explain concepts like mindfulness and being present. It's nice to see different approaches to these topics since Martha also uses these ideas in her interest group.
“You have to live in the present. To live in the past you experience too many emotions that you often can’t do anything about and living in the future creates anxiety.”
Martha finds now an incredible time to be in her life. Despite the fact that as people age time seems to pass by faster, she finds there is still so much to do and enjoy!
“Every day a new person comes into my life because of GetSetUp. Plus it’s so exciting to have friends from around the world, some of who you may be in touch with and others you may not. People in classes sometimes mention friends that live nearby and put us in touch. Sometimes this means I'm friends with some of their friends too!”
Sometimes she finds people in classes regularly with her and other times she may only see them once or twice. However, she’s finding the network essential to helping her get ideas both from classes and from other community members. These insights are helping her enhance her business. While she’s organizing her ideas, she is thrilled to be able to help people by sharing her insights in classes and in interest groups.
“If I had GetSetUp when I was widowed in 2015 then my life would have been different a long time ago. GetSetUp has given me the ability to take on different roles from learner to an interest group leader and perhaps someday a Guide. I haven’t felt this excited about something in a while.
“I am deeply grateful to GetSetUp as it is allowing me to stretch and grow in ways that I could not seem to leverage on my own.”
So join Martha and explore the next steps in your life with like-minded people!
“There’s a lot of technology out there. Just because you can do something with technology doesn’t mean you should. We will talk about how to keep tech simple.”
This interest group will focus on the memories created with pets. It’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded pet owners and share your favorite pet stories.