Be Engaged

How A Chain-Link Fence Made Me Cry

This morning, I received an alert that Fritz Gilbert, the author of Keys to A Successful Retirement: Staying Happy, Active, and Productive in Your Retired Years, had added a new post to his blog.

Now, to be honest, I don’t always read Fritz’s posts.

He’s a 60-year-old man who’s been retired since 2018, so some of the topics he covers just don’t resonate.

Many others do, as Fritz often writes about how money, in his direct experience, is simply not the most important aspect of a happy retirement.

We both agree, for example, that having a sense of purpose is essential to building a rewarding and meaningful Third Act.

Fritz’s newest post, entitled What A Difference A Day Makes, hammered that idea home, and then some. (An hour after reading it, I still have a lump in my throat.)

Here’s the story:

Soon after retirement, Fritz and his wife, Jackie, were inspired to start Freedom for Fido, a non-profit dedicated to building fences for low-income families so that their dogs can roam free, instead of being chained up.

Fritz has written about this endeavour before but, honestly, I didn’t really get it.

Fences for dogs? Seems kind of random, but sure.

My feelings about the impact of the work changed today, after seeing the end result in action.

Who knew a chain-link fence could be so darn life-affirming?

Read the (extremely compelling) post and/or watch this video to see what I mean. (There’s just something about happy dogs that’s catching!)

The takeaway: we all need a life purpose (especially in retirement), and if that purpose results in a world that’s a little more joyful, so much the better.

One More Thing

  1. Watch Fritz talk about why retirees with no plan for filling their time often end up depressed in this five-minute interview with CTV News Montreal.

What Do You Think?

Is there a project you’d like to pursue during retirement? Something you’d be excited to work on and that would keep you engaged for long periods? Please leave me a comment at the bottom of this page.

Do you think other people would enjoy reading this post? Please click the purple button to share on social media. (Thanks so much!)

Elizabeth Quayle has been an avid reader and writer for more than 50 years. Since earning a BA in English Lit (1991) and a Journalism Certificate (1996), she has written professionally for diverse public and private companies, as well as magazines, newspapers, non-profits, and government agencies. She started Live Well Anyway in 2023.


  • Fritz @ The Retirement Manifesto

    Elizabeth, thank you so much for highlighting my article. You’re not the only one with a “lump in your throat,” that happens to me every time we finish a Freedom Day and watch the dogs run for the first time. Thanks again, I’m pleased to hear that my post resonated with you.

    • EQ

      Hi Fritz!

      Thanks for commenting – and for inspiring me to write this post! (It’s been a while, but I hope to one day be as consistent at posting as you!)

      Really appreciate you reaching out. Keep making those dogs happy!


  • Cari Miller

    Great post! I don’t have a plan but I’d like to help support connections between lower income people and garden / farm fresh foods that taste great.

    • EQ

      Thanks, Cari! I appreciate your feedback – and really like your idea re: spreading the many benefits of gardening. It’s such a wonderful pastime!


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