A couple years after his 80th birthday, Bob Dixon started writing about his life experiences.
The Avila Beach resident looked back at the past eight decades and wrote about the many good years, when he worked in advertising and marketing in San Francisco, raised three daughters and traveled.
He also wrote about the bad times: his wife died in 1998 after suffering seven years from Alzheimer’s disease; he remarried three years later and had a colon cancer operation, a double hernia and double bypass surgery shortly afterward.
A year ago August, Dixon, now 88, had a stroke.
“During the past few years, I have let myself sink into a prolonged period of self-pity,” he wrote.
But then, he said recently, “I took a look at what I was writing and said ‘This is ridiculous.’ ”
Instead of focusing on the negative — his fears, his pains — Dixon decided to create a “Love List,” and name 20 things he’s thankful for in his life.
E-mailing friends and family;
going to the Great American Melodrama in Oceano; and
an aquakinetics class at Cuesta College.
Now, Dixon wants to share his project with other seniors. He wants to help men and women in their 80s and older overcome their aging concerns by focusing on their “Love Lists” — people, places and activities that are still a part of their lives.
Dixon has written, edited and self-published a newsletter. He mailed the first edition to seniors throughout California, asking them to answer one question: “Was it worth the journey?”
Now, he plans on focusing his efforts to reach San Luis Obispo County residents. He’d eventually like to organize an event to celebrate the lives of local seniors and wants to create a website.
“I’m better today than I was yesterday,” is a favorite saying of Dixon’s. “And I will be better tomorrow.”
Dixon can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 2173, Avila Beach, 93424, or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Arroyo Grande was honored Oct. 2 at the national America In Bloom awards ceremony in St. Louis.
The city won first place in its population category of 15,001 to 25,000 residents, and resident Bob Lund was recognized for his community leadership with the John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award.
Arroyo Grande also won a community involvement award — given to the city that shows outstanding participation by its community members — and Arroyo Grande In Bloom will receive a $500 award for its win in a YouTube video competition.
The city was judged on eight criteria, including tidiness, community involvement, environmental awareness and heritage.
America in Bloom is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting nationwide beautification programs and personal and community involvement through the use of flowers, plants, trees and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.
For more information, go to www.arroyograndeinbloom.org.
Cynthia Lambert and Gayle Cuddy write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.