Feeling tired, down, or maybe even frustrated? Don’t take a pill. Instead spend some time with Linda Hecker. She would love to have you join her.
Linda is what I call a people person. She thrives being around others. Meet her for lunch and she’s the one that knows a handful of people already in the restaurant. Can you relate? Her smile lights up a room. She’s upbeat, positive, energetic and, well, just a nice person. She retired four years ago and, at 70, she is still going strong. She is President of the Canandaigua Garden Club. She is a member of the Medved Running Club. She participates in a Wednesday morning running group and is an active member of the Red Jacket Rotary. She runs, she bikes, she skis, she snowshoes, she gardens, she golfs. She also has a kayak and on Wednesday’s in July and August she participates in time trails on Irondequoit bay. “I just paddle and try to best my best time.”
When asked, “How do you do it Linda? What’s your secret?” She replied, “I like being around people.” Linda was a Customer Service Representative for years at Canandaigua National Bank before she retired. Sounds like the perfect job for her. “I learned a lot in that job and I was always around people,” she said. “I liked that… I like to help.” She added she learned a lot from the classes she took with the bank that focused on customer service. “I learned to be polite. I learned to put myself in their shoes.” Her empathy shows and so does her humor. I observed this of Linda and when I said I think her humor puts others at ease she commented, “Oh I hope so.”
I asked Linda how she would respond if someone reached out to her and wanted to improve their life in some way. She remarked, “Come to the garden club and meet some new ladies.” In other words, join me and let’s be inspired together. Keeping an open mind is important to Linda. “Don’t be afraid to look at different points of view,” she said. “When I’m challenged by something I try to do that. I take a step back and look at the big picture. We’re not in it alone. I have other people pulling for me.”
Almost every day Linda gets out of the house. If she’s not participating in a group or club that day – or golfing or skiing depending on the season – she is with family or out meeting others for lunch, for example. Truthfully, I believe she’ll do whatever it takes to be with people. And she thrives as a result. Often, she is with her husband of 51 years, Vern. They both worked at different organizations but retired on the same day. How did they celebrate? You guessed it, they met at a local restaurant and were surrounded by family and friends. Linda describes Vern as her pillar. Vern said Linda is “fun-nominal.” I think you get the picture.
Linda said her greatest achievement is raising her three kids. One of her children has special needs. Of all her children Linda said, “I have to be their advocate. You have to be your own advocate. You have to make this (life) happen. You have to explore the possibilities.”
Linda explores everything. She’s active and knows how important it is to stay active and keep moving. She is living a life full of fun, hope and love. “I hope I don’t get set in my ways,” Linda remarked. Not a chance, I thought. Thanks for the inspiration Linda.