Aging Well in the Gorge October 5th 2022

Are you happy?

Since 2016, October has been celebrated as Gorge Happiness Month reminding us we can be happier and healthier by practicing the “Daily Three”.

1.) Gratitudes: Find time each day to list three things for which you are thankful. It could be a good night’s sleep, an absorbing book, or a visit from one of your grandchildren.

2.) Acts of kindness: It can be as simple as picking up three pieces of trash, enjoying a sunset, telling a good joke – or a really bad one. (What did the fish say when he ran into a wall? Dam!) You can also volunteer at a non-profit which most are always looking for new volunteers.

3.) Moments of Silence: Sit silently for just five minutes every day. Turn off the TV or radio which are often our familiar and constant companions and just sit still and observe your thoughts and all that is around you.

While we practice the “Daily Three”, what is often forgotten is that happiness doesn’t mean never being sad.

Helen Russell, author of How To Be Sad (2021) argues that we can’t be truly happy unless we acknowledge and embrace our sadness. “Studies show that experiencing temporary sadness, and allowing ourselves to sit with those feelings when they come, can counterintuitively make us happier.”

Sadness is an inevitable part of the ups and downs of the human experience. No one is immune to it. There is no vaccine to avoid it. Accepting there will be sadness in our lives, teaches us to see negative emotions as an inevitable part of our lives, so when we do experience sadness, we are less likely to dwell on it and more likely to deal with it.

Expecting to be happy all the time, leads to “toxic positivity” which can create an inherent sense of shame when we inevitably feel sad. And when we pretend we’re happy when we’re not, true happiness becomes harder to identify. Am I actually happy or just putting on a happy face?

Engaging in the “Daily 3”: saying thanks, expressing kindness, observing moments of silence – AND also allowing ourselves to be sad can lead to a happier life while making our community a better place.

For this month’s “Through the Eyes of an Elder” Trish Leighton interviews Bill Jones who is an example of resiliency: finding ways, with the support of his wife Adie, to work around the challenges he faces. It’s another great read.

After last week’s discussion of Circles of Care, I have been asked whether there is something similar in Klickitat County – and there is. Isaias Garcia is the Volunteer Services Coordinator for Klickitat Senior Services and he will be glad to answer any of your questions about volunteering or needing assistance. You can reach Isaias at 509-773-3757.

To challenge your brain here is another lateral thinking puzzle where you have to use an indirect and creative approach to discover the answer.

Brain Tease: A man who lives in a 30-story building decides to jump out of his window. He survives the fall with no injuries. How did that happen?

The name of the artificially flavored drink mix used by NASA on John Glenn’s Mercury flight was TANG. I received correct answers from Joann Gage, Anita Burris, Emmett Sampson, Diana Weston, Lana Tepfer, Margo Dameier, Donna Mollet, Dave Lutgens, Marlene & Keith Clymer, Rose Schulz, Rebecca Abrams, Molly Fauth, Rhonda Spies, and Elaine Kirby this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

From 1968-1972 one of the most popular television shows was hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this show which gave us such memorable catchphrases as “Sock it to me” and “Here Comes the Judge”? And for those who find this question too easy, what political candidate appeared asking “Sock it to me?” Email your answers to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or send it on the back of a clean, crisp $20 bill.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Until we meet again, life is just one long continuous learning curve.

“Volunteering is at the very core of being human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” Heather French Henry

Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through

Friday unless otherwise noted.

Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Hood River

Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center

(541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333)

For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office

(509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068); Skamania County Senior

Services (509-427-3990).

Answer: He lives in a 30-story building, but he only jumped out the first-floor window.

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