Aging Well September 29

Senior Living September 29

It isn’t easy. Living during this time of your life, takes effort, even though you may want to finally recline back in the Lazy-Boy – feet up, with a nice cool one in hand and just watch as life goes by. You’ve earned it. You have seen it all; there’s nothing more left to do. And besides you’re tired.

But this can also be the time of your life: the time when you can discover new dimensions of who you are at a time when you no longer have to worry about who you should be. The stage where you can explore the other parts of your hidden self – the parts you barely touched as you carried the many responsibilities of raising your children or following your career path or both. Now is the time when you can try on the clothes of your forgotten dreams to see if they still fit.

It is possible. I have met folks who have tried on new roles: a writer, a lay pastor or a Sunday school teacher, a foreman for a Habitat project or a musician in a local bluegrass band, an elected official, or if you have the guts – a junior high teacher; folks who have enjoyed a cruise to Alaska or through the Panama Canal, or who have finally taken that trip to their ancestral homeland. And closer to home, folks who have discovered new dance steps at the Civic, enjoyed a variety of new entertainment at the Community Concerts, digested new ideas from the Center’s Lecture series and sought new ways of personal expression through art classes. It is an attitude of “Let’s give it a try!” and “Why not!” There is nothing you can’t do. (Fortunately, there are many stupid things we no longer want to do.)

And with this new attitude, you realize it is not the dreaded “old age” you have encountered, but a “new age” you have discovered. And even though you may have wanted to just coast through this next stage of your life, it is a time to experience new lands, new talents and new relationships with a renewed sense of purpose and possibility.

The country western singer John Michael Montgomery sang on his hit album “Life’s a Dance”, “Life’s a dance you learn as you go/ Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow/ Don’t worry about what you don’t know/ Life’s a dance you learn as you go”.
And tonight you can enjoy life and “learn as you go” at the Center by dancing and listening to the popular “The Dufur Boys” from Dufur”. The music starts at 7:00 and everyone is invited. Admission is free, but donations are kindly accepted.

This is the place I usually announce who the speaker will be for next week’s Next Chapter Lecture, but I don’t know yet. But I can say that some of the coming lectures will include Portland’s Chinese Gardens, Genealogy, Railroads and Medicare Part D. All interesting stuff.

Ron Sutherland was the first to answer last week’s question correctly. The answer was “The $64000 Question” which was the #1 show in 1955- 1956 before it was dropped in 1958. (Not to be confused with “Twenty One” and the famous Charles Van Doren scandal.) This week’s question is from the Category Movie Quotes for one free breakfast, “What movie had the famous line “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”? (And has it really been 42 years since I saw that movie?)

Next Monday and Tuesday seasonal flu shots will be available at the Center from 11:00 – 2:00. And I finally found out the difference between the bird flu and the swine flu. For the bird flu you use a “tweatment” and the swine flu you use an “oinktment”. (I hope that joke – or should I say groaner – doesn’t ruin your day.)

And on that fine note, it is time to close up and call it a day. Until we meet again, Jan Chittister author of “The Gift of Years” suggests that “Growth in old age requires the curiosity of a five year old and the confidence of a teenager”.

Does age poison us, or do we poison age? ~Astrid Alauda

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