Aging Well March 9

The great baseball player Satchel Paige once asked “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” Do see yourself younger, older than your chronological age? Are you as young (or old) as you feel?

Your actual age does matter but according to Markus H. Schafer, a doctoral student in sociology and gerontology at Purdue University “it’s your interpretation that has far-reaching implications for the process of aging. If you feel old beyond your own chronological years you are probably going to experience a lot of the downsides that we associate with aging. But if you are older and maintain a sense of being younger, then that gives you an edge in maintaining a lot of the abilities you prize.”

Shaeffer believes there are both negative and positive effects of trying to stay up with the Jones’ kids. “People want to feel younger, and so when they do inevitably age they can lose a lot of confidence in their cognitive abilities.” As the saying goes, “Inside every older person is a younger person – wondering what the hell happened.”

But Shaeffer also sees the positive effects of trying to stay young. As we try to keep up with all the new trends and activities we can feel energized, excited, alive and relevant. One example he mentions is learning new technologies which from my experience will keep you cognitively challenged for a long time. (I mean it will keep you on your mental toes and not make you feel stupid – well actually it will do both.)

In our current modern culture we constantly see messages urging us to look younger: Botox, vitamins and plastic surgery; and to stay active: Elderhostel (renamed Exploritas), a variety of master sports such as swimming – and should I even dare mention Viagra!

But even though you were God’s gift to the human race when you were 21, there are limits to staying youthful and current: don’t wear anything that shows more flesh than fabric, if you “cruise the gut” looking for some action there is a reason you are alone (they’re texting) and even though wearing shoulder length hair was a sign of standing up to the “man”, it doesn’t quite have the same affect when your hair line starts at your ears. There is a difference between possibility and fantasy!

A quick reminder: The Prescription Drug Collection will be held this coming Saturday from 10:00 – 3:00 pm at the Center. Help your community, your environment and yourself by bringing your out-of-date, unused or unwanted prescription drugs to the Center so they can be safely disposed.

Dance till the stars come down from the rafters/ Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop. W.H. Auden

Every Tuesday Night starting at 7:00 pm at the Center whether it is cloudy or not, the stars shine when the music starts. Next Tuesday the Sugar Daddies will be back. The Center missed them last month because of illness (thanks to Truman for filling in at the last moment) but the Center always look forward to their upbeat sounds. And tonight the Notecrackers will be playing your favorite dance tunes. Even though you may feel like a million dollars, the evening is free, although donations are gladly accepted

The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question was American Bandstand hosted by the venerable Dick Clark. Ben Neumayer’s name was drawn from the fourteen entries and wins a free breakfast at the center on Saturday March 20th serving from 8:00 – 9:30 am.

This week’s question is “Who was an American broadcast journalist (and WSU graduate) who first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II. And from 1953 – 1959 hosted the popular television show “Person to Person” interviewing celebrities in their homes from his chair in his New York studio. Call 541-296-4788, email or just slip me a ten dollar bill with the answer written on it.

Well, that is another divot in the fairway of life. Until we meet again as Jonathan Swift once said “May you live all the days of your life”.

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” Will Rogers

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