Aging Well April 13

Carpe Diem! How often have you seen or heard this common expression? From a poem by the Roman poet Horace, the phrase is part of the longer Carpe diem quam minime credula postero – “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future”. It is a testament to being in the moment, drinking its pleasures and living each day to its fullest.

But as we seize the day, have we forgotten or avoided envisioning a future with all of its possibilities? By imagining a rocky path of painful joints, failing sight, lost friends, and memories lost, have we ignored tomorrow for today or even yesterday?

So let me ask “How would you live your life if you knew you were going to live another 20 years, ten years, or even five years – guaranteed? Not just another day. Would you go back to school? Learn to paint? Remodel that old Buick? Write your life history? What are your passions, what is your purpose? And what are you waiting for?

As you seize each day, as you write each new page, imagine the whole book of your life. You have already written many wonderful chapters – but there are many more to be written: some brave, some thrilling, and inevitably, some sad. To paraphrase James Dean – Imagine you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.

Next Tuesday (April 20) at the Center, representatives from the local office of Seniors and People with Disabilities (SPD), a division of Oregon’s Department of Human Services, will discuss the many supports and services they provide so seniors can live independent, healthy and safe lives. Some of the important work they do is enforcing standards of care in long term care settings; providing management and oversight of senior programs and providing Medicaid benefits for seniors. The presentation starts at 11:00 and afterwards you can enjoy a delicious dinner of marinated Steak Tips provided by Meals-on-Wheels.

The Sugar Daddies are back but – sorry ladies – you won’t find guys with dollars hanging from their pockets and charm dripping from their lips – these guys just like to play music. Come and enjoy an evening of listening and dancing to new tunes and old favorites. And if you like what you hear, you can purchase their latest CD produced right here in the Gorge. And tonight the popular Cherry Park band will be playing. The music starts at 7:00 and if the cost of admission was any cheaper, we would be paying you. But donations are appreciated.

April is the Center’s spring membership month – and I won’t be as intrusive as Oregon Public Radio during their quarterly membership drives – but again a gentle reminder to take that step and become a member of the Senior Center. The cost is only $35 per person and $60 per couple. And thank-you to the over 250 individuals who have already renewed or became new members. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Last week I attended a two-day Gerontology Conference at OSU (and as an Oregon graduate I hate to admit it but it was an excellent conference). In future columns I will share with you what I learned. But as a tease, and if you have Internet access, there is a five part presentation on the Mastery of Aging you can find at that includes memory, depression, medications, nutrition and physical activity. Each part is about an hour long and well done.

I had several responses from last week’s question (favorite TV or radio show you listened to as a kid) including listening under the covers to “Inner Sanctum”; “Jackpot Bowling with Milton Berle”, and the Lone Ranger’s “Hi-yo, Silver, away!”.

This week’s question again follows the theme of personal memories. What was your most memorable date movie from the past? Could it have been the first date with your high school or college sweetheart – or the last? Or a movie you don’t quite remember because you were – I’ll put it politely – engaged in other activities? If you are willing to share your answer, call 541-296-4788, or email

Has it been another week? Until we meet again, as they said in Rome “Modo fac” or as translated in Beaverton “Just do it!”

People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy. – Bob Hope

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