Aging Well April 2nd 2013

Were you ever called a “Fraidy Cat”? Unable to go to sleep without a night light. Or teased because you were too scared to watched Godzilla. Your imagination could run wild with all the “could be’s and maybe’s” – that monster could climb out from under the bed!
But as we have matured, so have our fears. And what was never a second thought, is now something to worry about: we stumble once, we worry about falling; we find a new mole, we think skin cancer; when we can’t remember an old friend, we’re losing our memory. And then while trying to sleep, late at night, in the dark, the fear of dying creeps into our minds. (Okay those may just be my fears, but you get the point, right? And maybe a night light is still a good idea.)
And while our fears, can keep us safe: staying off tall ladders, making the mammogram appointment, and getting our daily exercise, unreasonable fears (like the monster in the closet) can keep us from experiencing new opportunities. We let the fear of a disapproving look, keep us from painting; the fear of losing a loved one, keep us from forming new relationships; and because we are afraid of looking awkward, we don’t dance.
To manage our fears, it helps to stay connected with family; enjoy the laughter and support of our friends and to plan and prepare for the “inevitables”. (I hate to remind you who are in denial, but we are going to get older; we are going to lose friends and loved ones; and someday, we will pass from this earthly existence – but hopefully not too soon!)
Life is too short to worry about how short life is; too short to play it safe and miss all the opportunities and possibilities. None of us know what is going to happen today or tomorrow, let alone ten year from now. But as we live with our fears, we can still embrace each day – while enjoying the dance as long as the music keeps playing.
While grazing on the Internet, I found this memory tip posted on the blog “Marc and Angel Hack Life”. (It seems like memory isn’t just a concern of us older folks.) To improve your memory, they suggest before going to sleep at night, reviewing everything you did during the day – in specific detail as if you were watching a video replay. At first you may not remember much, but with experience you will gradually remember the details of your day – and maybe even remember where you misplaced that missing book!  Try it for thirty days and see if it helps.
At the Center’s Tuesday Lecture on April 9th starting at 11:00, Gae and Don Wimberly will discuss The Dalles Relay for Life – scheduled for Saturday June 22nd. Relay for Life celebrates survivorship, offers hope while raising funds to end the threat of cancer.
And before the river rises and the wind starts to blow, playing tonight at the Center is “The Strawberry Mountain Band”.  And next Tuesday “Martin and Friends” will be plucking away for your dancing and listening enjoyment. Music begins at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated
The Oregon native who wrote “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and who was “too young to be a beatnik, and too old to be a hippie,” was Ken Kesey (And this week’s winner is Merry Prankster Dennis Morgan.)
But for this week’s “Remember When” question, let’s move to the Korean Peninsula. There have been bellicose threats coming from the young premier of North Korea, but that region has always been a flashpoint since the end of WWII. But on April 11th1951, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command (UNCOM) that was replaced by President Harry Truman, but returned to the states with a hero’s welcome before he “faded away”? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of the Port of Inchon.

Well, it has been another week enjoying the walks down to the river and back. Until we meet again, as Mae West once said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

“The very basic core of the human spirit is a natural passion for exploration and growth.  This growth comes directly from our encounters with new experiences; and hence there is no greater destination in life than to have an endlessly changing horizon – for each day to have a new and different sun.”

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