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Retirement: Life in the Fast Lane

  • Written by Guest Column by Susi Carroll
Meet Janet Bacon, a beautiful blond who travels, sails, and gives back enormously by volunteering at two organizations. She has a lovely spiritual nature and is living life to the fullest with her sweetheart, Bill. She met him on Match.com.  You might think she is in her 30’s if you knew her schedule; but actually, she is 67 and retired!
 
JanetJanet and Bill (Courtesy photo)Janet left corporate life seven years ago and cared for her ailing husband who passed away in 2013. Since then she sold her home in Bothell and lived in a small apartment across from Green Lake. She loved walking and the lake loop and staying active. Janet also did the Rock & Roll marathon two years in a row, one in Las Vegas, and another in Florida. She is quick to point out she didn’t walk all the way and rode the bus part of the time. Even so, this is quite a feat for a woman with two artificial hips and multiple sclerosis (MS).
 
Janet volunteers at Young Women Empowered, YWE, an organization to help young women where she mentors and serves. She has sponsored a table at their annual fund-raising auction for five years.  She also spends one day a week at Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County. There she works with victims of domestic violence and their children. At Christmas she organizes a pajama drive for the women and children at the shelter.  Because of her efforts and help from friends and family; many children and their moms are cozy and warm each holiday season. Last year she was able to provide 285 pajamas to the shelter.
 
June is her birthday month and, in the past, Janet and friends have made 61, 62, 63 (depending on her age) sandwiches that they give to the hungry in Seattle and Everett. This year they made 67 sandwiches.
 
Janet has traveled with women friends (a big part of her life), family, and now her sweetheart Bill. Africa, India, Cuba, Italy, Croatia, Barbados, and France, have given her sunrises and sunsets. This year she is going to Vietnam. Those countries are just in the years since
she retired. I’m not sure, but I think she subscribes to the YOLO (you only live once) theory.
 
On Bill and Janet’s first date he sang, “You are my sunshine” to her. Now two years later, they have a home together in Everett, and a sailboat named “My Sunshine.” It takes quite a man to keep up with this active lady. Bill is that guy! Retirement looks good on him, too. Their home has a few pieces of fine furniture he has designed and built. Sailing is Bill’s passion (after Janet), and they recently sailed from Everett to Victoria, with another couple on 8-day trip. Bill races his boat weekly and is a member of the Mukilteo Yacht Club and Milltown Sailing Club.
 
A big party is planned to celebrate Bill’s 70th birthday. Janet loves parties and celebrations. For the past 20 years she has had a Super bowl party. The party features the game of course, but also delicious food and drinks. A betting pool is always part of the fun. In 2015, she and her son and daughter-in-law went to the Super Bowl in Arizona.
 
Janet is fond of saying YES! Yes, to life, parties, fun, travel, romance, cooking, and everything in between. As we age, often our lives become more closed in and smaller. We venture out less often and not far away. Janet on the other hand is one of those lucky ones whose life has expanded, horizons broadened, and she is living retirement in the “fast lane.”
 
Janet’s philosophy of life is:
Show up with vibrancy and openness
Be grateful
Make a positive difference in other people’s lives
Words to live by for all of us from this marvelous senior citizen!
 

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