“I feel like I can do anything,” declared 71- year-old Katy Noakes of Westmere. “The best is yet to come. There are so many things I want to do that it is frightening; so many interests and dreams.”
Does this sound like a senior motivational speaker, or what?
“That’s next,” she said. “I’m joining Toastmasters International!”
The former regional sales manager for a division of Hallmark has a desire to inspire and train young workers going into sales. She’s going to emphasize the importance of building relationships through the basics such as eye contact, personal touch and follow-up.
“I’m going to downplay money,” she explained, “because success will always follow satisfaction.”
The ageless lady could also bring inspirational messages to a more mature crowd after she nails her next passion: tap dancing. In fact, she’s been “tapped” as the keynote speaker for the Native Daughters of Cooperstown, an over-50 club from the famous Hall of Fame mecca.
“I don’t feel like a senior, number one,” she said. “It’s not just my attitude. I don’t know why God allowed me to be so blessed unless it’s to give a message about God’s goodness because this joy is not all my doing.”
Perhaps her ongoing fortuitous life is a bit of passing it forward. As it says in the Bible: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38.
Some of these deeds run the gamut from helping smokers quit, collecting new and gently used blankets and making baby blankets for The Rescue Mission and the Schuyler Inn Homeless Shelter. She is hoping to merge some of her efforts with Anthony Cavaleri’s “Hats, Umbrellas, Gloves & Scarves” (H.U.G.S.), which collects items for the indigent.
Somehow, she finds time to visit homebound elderly women who love her company and her energy.
“Every day is precious,” she said. “For seniors, there are fewer days ahead than behind. We have to enjoy them whether it’s sitting and thinking or reading a book. We have the capacity to make a difference — even if it’s for one person. When I’m gone, I hope people will say, ‘She made me happy or made me laugh.’ I really dislike it when people say they’re bored. There is so much to do, but I don’t want to sound preachy.”
I guess you can preach when you walk your talk … or in Katy’s case, run your talk.
Robert J. LaCosta blogs each weekday at belovedblogger.com. To subscribe or suggest an inspirational senior for Retiring Retirement, write firstname.lastname@example.org.