Aging Well July 7

As we age, we enjoy joking about the challenges and foibles associated with becoming more mature? or is it more experienced? – or as we hate to admit it, just plain older: the nightly bathroom trips, the hearing aids, the stiffness and the all too common “senior moments”. But although there is undoubtedly some truth in all of these common perceptions, many of us accept these conditions or limitations as inevitable and unalterable and become our own worst enemies to enjoying our later years to the fullest.

Did you hear about the 83 year old woman who talked herself out of a speeding ticket by telling the young officer that she had to get there before she forgot where she was going?

As we grow older, there are many things we just no longer want to do or have to do. I no longer want to climb up on the roof. You may no longer have to punch the daily time clock. But that is different from avoiding a new experience because we feel we are not capable. It is not healthy to pass up opportunities to explore and contribute because we have accepted the common perceptions and limitations of our own aging.

A man was telling his neighbor, ‘I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it’s state of the art. It’s perfect.’ ‘Really,’ answered the neighbor. ‘What kind is it?’ ‘Twelve thirty.’

Sometimes, when learning a new skill that takes too much time or seems too hard, we think it is because we our too old. But learning anything new is hard and always has been hard whether it was learning to read, ride a bicycle or play the piano. Maybe it is because we have forgotten how long it has taken to us learn all that we know in our 50, 60, or 80+ years, we somehow feel we should be able to learn to use a computer or a new dance step or any new skill in a few short days or weeks or heaven forbid if it takes us several months.

“I don’t do alcohol anymore – I get the same effect just standing up fast.” ~Author Unknown

No doubt, there are changes. We don’t rush around as fast, we see more in grays instead of blacks and whites and hopefully we make better decisions based on experience which are all good. But the difficulties in learning we attribute to aging are overstated. At every age and stage in our lives, we are capable of doing more than we think if we allow ourselves to take the risk, take the time and make the effort.

Few quick reminders:
At the Center, The Hardshell Harmony will be performing next Tuesday and tonight Truman Boler will be playing his country classics. The music starts at 7:00 and is over by 9:00, in time to get home before dark. The show is free but generous donations are generously accepted.

The Center will also be holding a rummage sale in the basement on Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th from 9 – 3 pm.

We had two correct answers last week from Joanne Scott and Tom Sofie identifying Gunsmoke, which ran from 1955 to 1975, as the longest running western TV series. To win a free Ft. Dalles Days Breakfast at the Center on Saturday July 18th, be the first to email me at the answer to the following question: What radio drama started with this question: ‘Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men’?

Until we meet again, keep moving, keep laughing and keep dreaming.

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