Senior Living February 19 2008

Senior Living February 19th

I am always amazed how much faster time goes by as I age. It was just yesterday when my kids were in daycare and now 17 years later one is working back east and the other is about ready to go off to college. How time flies. But I have had this experience before: taking tests in school. During the first half of the test, time moved gently as I concentrated on the initial problems. Then half way through, the clock started ticking faster and during the last 15 minutes it was racing to the end. But I still had several problems to complete; I wasn’t sure I was going to finish them; I just needed a little more time and then, boom, time was up. Until recently I would have used this as a metaphor for life. You are trying to make up for all the time you spent during the first 90 minutes, by accomplishing as much as you can in the last 30 minutes. But I have also found with age comes a sense of acceptance or maybe clarity where different values become important. Do we really have to finish all the problems? Should we not just focus on one or two problems that really matter and enjoy and appreciate the gift of the moment? Then as I start enjoying the moment and appreciate the now, the waters calm and time begins to slow down once again.

Lucille Torgerson and Kathleen Flynn who have facilitated the Senior Center’s the “Let’s Talk” discussion series on affirmative aging have another exciting opportunity planned. They both know the difficulties and challenges that occur between older parents and their adult children and see the need to better understand how to deal with those situations. In order to learn more they have invited Lee Paton, a highly respected and sought after speaker throughout the US, to provide an educational workshop on this subject. Lee is an RN, Ph.D. and a clinical gerontologist with a specialty in dementia and end of life care. She works to design creative care strategies to enhance each person’s health and quality of being alive.

As Lee explains it, “Like it or not, elders and their families tend to bristle whenever issues of care and long term planning arise. No matter how well intentioned the parties might be, these topics are highly emotional for nearly all of us. All too often, parents and their children fall into a deep abyss of guilt, shame, and frustration when discussing these concerns, yet there are creative and compassionate ways to build bridges to safely cross these dangerous chasms. This workshop will focus on identifying the major stumbling blocks, stopping the war between parents and adult children, and coping with the challenges of aging with grace and love.”

The workshop will be held on Saturday May 10th (Mother’s Day weekend) and because this workshop addresses such an important issue so many of us face or will face, I wanted to let you know about it early. You will hear more details as we get closer to the workshop.

Focus Groups

We have scheduled several focus groups to gather your ideas and opinions on what you would like to see with the new proposed expansion of the Senior Center. The next focus groups are scheduled for Thursday February 28th at 2:00 pm and Tuesday March 3rd at 10:00 am. Everyone is invited whether you currently use the Senior Center or not. We want input from the whole senior community.

Travel Club

The Senior Center’s Travel Club is going to meet on Thursday February 28th at 1:00 to discuss possible trips for this spring and summer. Louise Gonzales has already reserved 24 excellent seats for the matinee performance of “Phantom of the Opera” in Portland on August 14th. Even though the show is in the summer and we aren’t even into spring yet (only 29 more days) we wanted to reserve the best possible seats for this popular musical. Stop by or call the Senior Center to reserve your seat.

Next Chapter

There has been fantastic attendance at the “Next Chapter” Lecture Series averaging around 30 people for the last several presentations. The series has touched on all kinds of subjects from finances to advance directives to local history. This coming Tuesday the 26th at 11:00 at the Senior Center, we will enter the medical field and learn about the latest in Rehabilitation Medicine and Physical Therapy presented by the Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s Rehabilitation and Mind Body Institute. It promises to be both informative and fun concluding with an interactive Mind/Body Game. Don’t miss it!

Tuesday Night Music

Next Tuesday Night at 7:00 the “Jazz Generations” will be playing at the Senior Center. Have I mentioned how beneficial dancing is for your heart and soul? Am I being a little pushy? Come on down to the Senior Center and kick up your heels while enjoying the fine music provided by the “Jazz Generations”. And if it is not too late, “Pennies and Small Change” are performing tonight.

Well that is it again for another week and as I struggled to find the right words that last hour went awfully fast. It is like taking a test all over again. So if someday you find this column only half finished, you will know I was just enjoying the moment. Until we meet again, take care and breathe deep.

First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.
— George Burns

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