Aging Well in the Gorge June 5th 2017

How many times do we tell ourselves “That’s too much effort” “I’m too tired tonight.” “Oh, I’ve never done that before, and I’m not going to start now.” I certainly have.
Joan Chittister in her book, The Gift of Years, points out that one of the challenges we face in old age is that we start acting old – limiting ourselves by creating justifications for our complacency so we stop living to the fullest and stop having fun.  As Lowell Thomas once said, “The secret of my vigor and activity is that I have managed to have a lot of fun.”
But aren’t we suppose to act our age? When we were young, we were expected to study and get an education; and when we finished school, we were expected to start a career and a raise a family.
But after sixty-five what is expected now – napping every day, staying home watching TV, and complaining about everything? Or how about hiking trails in the Gorge, dyeing your hair crimson red, and even continuing to work? (And is it okay at my age to pierce my right ear – so I can attach a note for my friends that reads, “ONLY THIS EAR WORKS!”.)  
Joan Chittister believes that living fully depends more on your attitude than your physical condition. And even though we may not have as much energy, and many of our longtime friends are no longer with us, if we have an attitude that keeps us from taking the next step to begin something new, “We fail to go on becoming. We stop in our tracks with years ahead of us. And wait. We take the gift of life and return it unopened.”
As a friend once suggested, when talking about old age, the opposite of old is not young, but new. And if we can still discover new adventures, no matter how small, or hone new skills, no matter how ordinary, we can still experience life to the fullest so we don’t allow ourselves “to become less than what we are able to be, more quickly than we ever should”.
Even though Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center is taking a break until July 11th, you can still find good music at the Center this coming Friday, June 9th. Bruce and Sher Schwartz will be playing before the noon meal starting at 11:00. Then in the evening, Nehemiah Brown will be singing from 7:00 – 9:00. The Nehemiah Concert is only $3.00 per person and is sponsored by The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center.
NWC Parks and Recreation and Flagstone Senior Living is hosting a “55 and Older Senior Prom” on Friday, June 30th at the Dalles Middle School – which I will write more about in a future column.
But to raise funds for the Senior Prom, you are invited to two fundraisers at Burgerville on Monday, June 12th from 11am to 2pm; and June 19th from 3pm to 6pm.
The name of the 1950 Hollywood movie starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson in which a screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star’s script only to find himself in a dangerous relationship was Sunset Boulevard. (I received correct answers from Jim Ayres, Sandy Haechrel, Tina Castanares and Marcia Lacock this week’s randomly selected winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)
Since the “55 and older Senior Prom” is later this month, I thought the theme for this month’s “Remember When” questions should be love and romance.
Remember when you were a young romantic and believed in love at first sight – at least until your vision cleared up. We did things we never would want our children to know – things you do when you are young, clueless and in love. For example, did you know anyone who came to school with a bruise, often found on the neck, caused by an aggressive kiss from their “steady”?
For this week’s “Remember When” question, what were those embarrassing bruises called? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off at the Center with a turtleneck sweater.
Well, it’s been another week, waiting for the light to change. Until we meet again, take your life by its love handles and give it a whirl!

“Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn’t want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.” William Holden

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