Senior Living October 21 2008

Think back when you were young. There was energy and enthusiasm; the future was a banquet of choices and opportunities, so many things to do and so little time to do them. And “Yet, knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.” Robert Frost describes the dilemma we all face in life where one choice precludes so many others. And for various reasons: pursuing a career, raising a family, or just making ends meet, we gallop down one road not expecting to ever revisit those missed opportunities again.

But in her book “Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer” Connie Goldman discusses how rediscovering an interest or passion we had early in life, a road now overgrown and hidden from view, we can again experience the excitement and enthusiasm of our youth and be involved, creative and aware through the next chapter of our lives.

To help rediscover these forgotten interests, write down every activity in your life that has brought you great pleasure and satisfaction and what you particularly liked about them. You may also want to make a list of things you wanted to do but never had the time to do. Use these lists to help identify those pleasurable activities you may now want to pursue. Spend some time contemplating them; don’t rush. And during this exploration, be open to new possibilities. Give yourself permission to stretch and grow by trusting in yourself and your own curiosity. And don’t worry about looking foolish, inept or not acting your age. As we age there is less pressure to draw within the lines; we can create our own pictures. Then share them with a close supportive friend or loved one who knows you well and who you can trust to be honest. Get their advice and support. You may need their gentle encouragment to get you moving on a new road of self-discovery.

You may discover now is the time to write, to paint, to entertain, to educate or to heal. We all know many people who in their 50’s, 60’s or 70’s have rediscovered a purpose whether it is local history, grief counseling, dance or ministry that has given them new energy, a new drive and an enthusiasm for life. Growth and change continues until we die. We can decide to live an active life but we can also decide how to live an active life full of passion and purpose. Our most satisfying discoveries may still be ahead of us.

Saturday night someone will be leaving the Senior Center with a smile on their face. The big prize for Saturday Night Bingo has grown to $425 and sixty numbers will be called for the winning blackout. Which means in layman’s terms, it is all but certain that someone will drive home with $425 in their pocket. Bring your lucky pennies; wear you lucky socks. It may just be your night! The Center appreciates all the folks who come out and play because the proceeds from Saturday Night Bingo helps support the Senior Center and its mission: “promoting healthy aging by sharing and caring”. And don’t forget Meals-on-Wheels Halloween Bingo night on Thursday October 30th. Doors open at 4:30 and Bingo starts at 6:00.

The Senior Center’s Young at Heart Serenaders practice the first two Wednesdays of each month from 10:30 – 11:30. The last two Wednesdays of the month they go out into the community and sing at retirement or care centers. They particularly enjoy singing in the Atrium at MCMC where the music floats up to the second and third floors that open up on the atrium. A sample of their fall music is “Autumn Leaves”, “The impossible Dream” and “This is the Army, Mr Jones”. Rehearsals are open to everyone. If you enjoy singing you will enjoy singing with the Young at Heart Serenaders.

At the Next Chapter Lecture Series on Tuesday October 28th at 11:00 am, you will learn “How to Assess and Prevent Accidents around your Home” presented by Visiting Health Services. One area that will be covered is fall prevention and how to identify ways to make your home fall proof.

But to avoid falls, you may also want to ask your doctor about your risk of falling and then modify your activities to reduce those risks. And since balance, flexibility and strength can also reduce the risk of falling and improve your chances of recovering if you do fall, it is good to participate in some kind of physical activity whether it is walking, water aerobics or a Tai Chi class. Falls are a major cause of injury and death among seniors, but falls are preventable and these are some steps you can take to help reduce your chances of falling.

“The Jazz Generations” are playing again on October 28th at the Senior Center’s Tuesday Night Music and Dance They have played all over the Northwest as well as in Las Vegas. Come down and enjoy an evening of dancing and fine music. And tonight don’t miss “Hardshell Harmony” a popular local bluegrass band playing for your listening pleasure. And Boyd Jacobsen already has the talent lined up for November with Mike Tenney and Dave Warren playing “music you remember from the days you’ll never forget” on November 4th and the Notecrackers, Truman Boler and The Jazz Generations on the following consecutive Tuesdays.

Well that is it for another week. Until we meet again, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

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