Aging Well in the Gorge April 11th 2017

It is often said, “Nothing remains constant except change itself.” But why do we resist change particularly as older adults who have a reputation of being stick-in-the muds, averse to any kind of change?
According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at the Harvard Business School, there are many reasons why people of all ages resist change. See if any of these reasons feel familiar.
First, change often creates uncertainty – often interrupting our routines which we find comforting because we know what to expect. Every morning I have my regular routine for eating breakfast and taking my pills.  But when I go on vacation, the routine changes, and it is difficult to adjust.
Second, change creates concerns about our own competence. Take technology. There is always some new “latest and greatest” software update to learn. And you just figured out the previous version!
Third, change creates more work – which takes time and energy. Although you may have the time, do you have the energy? With the kids moved out, it is time for my wife and I to move to a smaller house, but I always reconsider when I think of all the work it would take.
Fourth, a loss of control. If you decide what to change, that’s okay, you’re in control. But when the change happens to you that is another story. And that seems to happen more often when you get older, as your family, friends or doctors start telling you where you should live, when you can drive and what you should eat.
But change is inevitable. And embracing change even with all the reasons to resist: more uncertainty, feelings of incompetence, more work and loss of control, change can help you continue to live a full and productive life. And having seen all the tremendous changes over your lifetime from types of television sets to personal cancer treatments, would you really want to go back to those “golden” years? Okay, maybe you don’t have to answer that question!  
After this past terrible, horrible, no good winter, more folks have decided to get their bodies moving by attending the Center’s movement and exercise classes. The classes are affordable and all you have to do to join the fun is show up. The classes include: Tai Chi on Tuesdays from 1:15 – 2:00 taught by Corliss Marsh, Line and Folk Dancing on Thursdays from 10:15 – 11:30 taught by Jacquie Hashizume, Strong Women on Tuesdays and Thursdays taught by Sally Forester, and Zumba Gold on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 – 11:30 taught by Marsha Morrison. Also, Debra Lutje teaches two classes: Chair Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15- 10:30 and Strength Yoga on Wednesdays from 9:30 – 10:30.
Besides helping your brain by exercising, you can also challenge your brain by reading this week’s Saturday Night music announcement – backwards. And you don’t even have to get out of your chair.
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In the television series, Gunsmoke, the name of the woman who was the owner of the Long Branch Saloon and with whom Matt Dillion had a close personal relationship was Miss Kitty. (Answers were received from Vicki Sallee, Alice Mattox, Johnie Douglas, Jim Ayres and the randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Don Smith.)
Sticking to television during the 50’s and 60’s, this week’s “Remember When” question is not about a western but a television sitcom (which I don’t remember because I was more interested in Saturday morning cartoons) that aired on CBS from 1954 to 1959.  But if your memory is better, what was the name of the television show about the adventures of widow Lily Ruskin played by Spring Byington, that for first four seasons followed I Love Lucy? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of next-door neighbor Pete Porter played by Harry Morgan, who in 1960 starred in his own show Pete and Gladys.
Well, it’s been another week, sorting through all my spring clothes. Until we meet again, I know it’s spring because the ants have returned to the kitchen counter.  

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” Robert C. Gallagher

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