Sunset over Flat Head Lake

Who would think this serene spot would generate so much activity?

Jet Skiing in Retirement–who would do that?

I could hear the cackles as my husband and I returned to shore: “What are those old geezers doing, Jet Skiing in retirement? Don’t they know they’re too old to do that—they could get hurt.”

In celebration of our 50th anniversary we joined our two children, their spouses and children on a week’s trip to Montana. Flat Head Lake was a perfect spot; activities for everyone, beautiful scenery and incredible weather. At first, I enjoyed watching the younger generations swim and play on what felt like pretty cold water. Soon, however, I came to realize I was missing much of the fun. Get in that water, I thought. Cool off and enjoy this gift. After a few minutes of swimming I felt refreshed and revitalized. Best of all, I was now a participant who felt much more connected to everyone.

Next I rode the Jet Ski we had rented for the day. Normally somewhat of a coward, I thought, “what can go wrong?” The worst that could happen is that I get wet—exactly the objective of being here. Besides even our seven year old granddaughter drove it.

I must confess that water skiing, the next activity, was a bust. Although I tried valiantly to demonstrate my proficiency of earlier years, I never did get up gracefully. Still,it felt good just trying.

What I learned from Jet Skiing in Retirement

While Jet Skiing in retirement probably won’t become my daily activity, I learned a lot from the experience. I also learned a good deal from my ungraceful water skiing falls that seem worth sharing.

1. If I want to experience real pleasure in life, get out of the chair!

It was nice watching the next generations enjoy the water sports. It felt even better, when I participated. This made me ask myself how often do I just watch what’s going on and don’t actively participate? Time to move and take risks!

2. If I want to stay physically and mentally active, escape my comfort zone.

As a young person, I loved to water ski, but “adult” responsibilities minimized those opportunities. Even though the body did not cooperate to make it happen again, the challenge energized me physically and mentally.

3. If I want to connect with our grandchildren, get involved in what they like. Their world is different from ours, but the irrepressible bond most grandparents delight in happens when we honor those differences.

4. Art and I have been blessed with the most wonderful family anyone could imagine. Actually, I didn’t just learn that, but the awareness was reinforced by this highly active, pressure free week everyone enjoyed.

Escaping Your Comfort Zone and Bonding with Grandchildren

What do you do to escape your comfort zone and feel revitalized? How do you bond with your grandchildren? Next week I will share the phenomenal experience Art had when he drove to Montana with three of our  grandchildren. Talk about a bonding experience!

White water rafting also made the week exciting.

8 happy people on the rapids of aWhite River float

White water rafting–a wonderful way to stay cool on a hot day.



husband and son-in-law approaching the rapids

staying afloat amid the rapids.



retired couple on a jet ski                                                You’re really never too old to enjoy life.