What’s your name?

Kathy Martens

Where do you live? Where have you lived?

Part time in Chicago, IL, and part time in New Buffalo, MI 

Tell us about yourself!

Live alone, recently retired (early retirement, I’m 53), two dogs, (Bichon Frise and Cockapoo), avid kayaker in the summer, watercolor and acrylic artist (travelled internationally for workshops in Italy, Spain, Mexico, etc), avid traveler in general (went on African safari last year, have been to Portugal, Ireland, Australia, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, etc), in a couple of book clubs, a Euchre club (popular card game in the Midwest), and do several volunteer projects (went to Haiti on a medical mission a few years ago), I love being an aunt to my three beautiful nieces!

What do you consider your personal superpower?  

I love being the connector…introducing people to each other, bringing new people into the group whatever the group might be (game weekend, book club, Euchre, artists groups, etc) mainly for friendships and occasionally for professional networking.

What are two things you’re looking forward to in the next 6 months?  

Hosting my annual “Dames and Dogs” weekend at the cottage. As the name implies, only dames and their dogs. A whole weekend of just girlfriends and their dogs. I started doing this several years ago and it’s one of the hi-lites of my summer. Also, getting ready to host several game weekends at the cottage. 100% casual, check your makeup and your attitude at the door! Games, wine, and women who are generous in spirit!

Favorite books? 

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy and East of Eden by Steinbeck

What does your day to day schedule look like? Morning routine? 

Routine…what’s that? The joy of being retired is that I can be spontaneous!

But in general each day includes a work out (either intense at Orange Theory Fitness or perhaps a 5-6 mile kayak trip or a moderate workout such as a light run). Then it’s on to whatever the day brings…painting? gardening? reading? catching up with family/friends? taking care of the dogs? planning an overseas trip? or simply taking a nap if I feel like it!

How do you judge success for the day? Any guiding principles? 

Guiding principle is to be generous in mind and spirit, and to be thoughtful in my actions.

What are your favorite activities? 

Kayaking, working out, painting, socializing.

Where are your favorite places to travel to? Big or small, all fine. 

African safari was the best vacation ever! On a smaller scale, spending time at the cottage is good for the heart and soul.

Favorite Quotes? 

Time is your most precious asset. Don’t let anyone waste your time.

Any tip or practice you personally recommend for someone who lives alone? 

Always remember that alone doesn’t mean lonely! Embrace your freedom! And leave dirty dishes in the sink if you want to…it’s all up to you!

Anything else we should include that would either help the community, or let people learn more about what makes you, “you?” 

I think the above questions covered everything but I’m happy to answer any follow up questions.