Senior Connections Senior Connections Dec. 2018 - Page 13

Women on the move GABE LICHT Delano Herald Journal Editor Jeanie Pilarski and Gail Sinkel may be retired, but that doesn’t mean their calendars are empty. “For 30 years, I lived and loved my job,” said Sinkel, who retired as director of the Delano Senior Center in 2014. “Now, I get to live and love my life and what dif- ferent things I get to appreciate, take advantage of, that I couldn’t do when I was thinking or working at work 12 hours a day.” Sinkel sings in her church choir, serves on the St. Maxi- milian Kolbe Church Council and on the Delano Com- munity Education Board, assists at the Senior Center as needed, and helps care for her grandson three days a week. She also spends fi ve to six hours each Monday help- ing her daughter, who is a third-grade teacher at Delano Elementary School. “Yes, it is a big commitment, but I love it,” Sinkel said. “You have that on your calendar and plan your week around it,” Pilarski said. “It’s like Thursdays for me. I don’t commit to anything on Thursdays unless it’s some- thing for my family.” Pilarski’s Thursdays are spent operating the Helping Hands Food Shelf in Delano. She is also active in the General Federated Womens Club of Delano, Friends of the Delano Library, Delano American Legion Auxiliary, Delano Relay For Life, and church choir, in addition to family duties such as babysit- ting grandchildren. Pilarski has been fi nding her volunteering niche since retiring from her full-time position in the Delano Public Schools activities offi ce in 2006. “You try things. If it doesn’t fi t, you step away from it,” Pilarski said. “You can’t do that with a job.” “You have more choices,” Sinkel added. “That’s what Baby Boomers need. They need that time to kind of try things and, if it doesn’t work, you have the opportunity to try something else.” Sinkel took some time to determine what kind of vol- unteering she would like to do. “As a newly retired Boomer, it takes a while to fi nd your niche,” Sinkel said. “Sometimes, you have to step Jeanie Pilarski, and Gail Sinkel, laugh as they compare notes about their busy schedules. Both women are retired and active volunteers in and around Delano. back and say, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ Everyone said, ‘Gail Sinkel just retired. She can do this.’ It was a time for me to say, ‘I need to step back for a minute and see what I really want to get involved with, rather than saying yes to everything.’” Finding the joy in volunteering is important to both women. “Everything you do should give you satisfaction,” Pila- rski said. “When you’re done, you feel good. Otherwise, you should quit.” “There are other people who might be better at that par- ticular job,” Sinkel added. Senior Connections HJ.COM Senior PHOTO BY GABE LICHT Pilarski learned about being involved in the local com- munity from her parents. “My folks were in the Depression,” Pilarski said. “They didn’t have a lot, and yet they volunteered and wanted to help others.” She has found volunteerism as a good way to get to know others. “When you start working with someone, you may not know them, but you often become a friend with them,” Pilarski said. “I’ve met more people by putting myself out there. You can’t wait for someone to knock on your door. You have to put yourself out there, even if it’s to walk into a meeting or a gathering.” “For some people, it’s hard to walk into a situation like that,” Sinkel said. But, for those who do, there is plenty to do in Delano. “I’ve often said, if you’re bored in this town it’s your own choice, because there are so many opportunities and needs in this community that you could become involved in,” Sinkel said. She believes fellow Baby Boomers are actively seeking such opportunities, and she encourages them to do so. “You have to make the most of every day and every year because you don’t know what’s beyond that,” Sinkel said. Connections December 2018 13