The fear of the unknown drives many of our decisions. We may not particularly like our current situation but its familiar and we know what to expect. In Connie Goldman’s book “Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer” she discusses the secret of risk taking that has helped folks find fulfillment and satisfaction in the third chapter of their lives. Positive risk taking is about moving beyond the unknown and engaging in life-affirming chances or risks that are reasoned, and appropriate.
The first step is deciding what you really want. What are your goals, your dreams and aspirations? Be honest, but positive. And writing them down will help clarify your goals. You have the best chance of success if you have a clear sense of purpose or a clear goal in mind.
No matter how old you are, everything you want in life requires some kind of risk and as we age this may be the best time to take the risks. We have less family responsibilities, the children have left home and started their own families, and we hopefully have less financial responsibilities with adequate savings and retirement to live modestly. With fewer responsibilities we have the time to be a little self-indulgent and make our lives better for ourselves and for our communities. That is if we want to, and if we are willing to take the risk.
There are many examples of people taking a chance to fulfill a life dream, but one close to my family is my mother-in-law, LaVine Rathkey. She was always interested in writing and ten years ago, retired and in her mid 60’s, she took a writing class offered by Chemeketa Community College at her local senior center. When the class was no longer funded, she and the group kept meeting as she continued to hone her writing skills. She never gave up on her dream and with the support of her husband, her first book, “Chalk Dust and Choices”, was just published.
You may not want to write a book. You may want to be an adventurous traveler and decide to attend Elderhostel classes. You may want to sing and perform in front of a live audience and decide to get your guitar and join the Jammers. Or share your interests and passions by teaching a class at the Senior Center. What do you have to lose? This may be the best time to jump into the unknown, take a risk and fulfill a life’s dream.
Some time in the past (the months all seem to flow together) the Senior Center was fortunate to host the Jammers - a bunch of friends sharing their talent and their love of music - for one of their Sunday afternoon Jam and Pie Socials. The dining room was packed, the music was great and everyone wanted them back. That day has arrived. They will play this coming Sunday, June 29th
On Tuesday July 1st you will have another chance for some fine musical entertainment. For the Tuesday Night Music program Truman Boler returns to the Senior Center to play his Country Gold. And tonight The Jazz Generations will be performing the Big Band sounds of the 20’s – 60’s. Music starts at 7:00 and is free and donations are appreciated. Everyone is welcome.
Today was the last Next Chapter Lecture for the summer. We will start again on the first Tuesday in September with more informative and stimulating presentations. I would like to thank all the folks who presented during this first series including: Jim Bishop, PK Swartz, Heather Runyon and Tara Donivan, Jason Corey, Jerry Jeffers, Jerry Tanquist, Jay Waterbury and Ed Goodman, Pat Case and Tina Castañares, Dean Dollarhide, Ryan LeBreton, Carola Stepper, Dan Ericksen, and Cassandra Mullins. Thanks also to Suzanne Burd, Susan Wolff and Dan Spatz from CGCC and to Joyce Powell Morin with MCMC for scheduling all of the fantastic medical folks including Dr. Stanley, Dr. Hodge, Dr. Matthew Proctor, and Susan Shipman.
I realized from an unnamed source that it is hard to hide your age when you announce you high school class reunion. But those of you from the 1968 class of The Dalles High School, listen up or detention after school. On Friday September 5th at 7:00 there will be a no-host get together at Spookys. On Saturday the 6th, there will be a brunch at 10:00 at the Chat-n-Chew, and then a class picture at noon in front of the High School. The day concludes with dinner and program starting at 5:30 at The Dalles Country Club. For more information visit the web site, firstname.lastname@example.org or call Darlene France at 467-2371.
What better way to strengthen the gray matter between the ears than learning to play Bridge. Every Friday at the Senior Center from 1:00 – 3:00 the Bridge Club meets and is inviting anyone who wants to learn how to play Bridge as well as those who already know how. They are a supportive group that couldn’t intimidate a two of clubs. Take a chance and enjoy a friendly game of bridge.
I want to thank Dennis Morgan and all the realtors and staff at Windermere Realty for cleaning up the grounds around the Center. They spent a whole morning cutting back the ivy, pulling weeds and hauling debris. Every year Windermere staff takes a day off to work on a community project and the Senior Center was fortunate to be this year’s recipient of their community goodwill. Also thanks to David Zopf for taking care of the rose garden and to Mary McDonald for picking the roses for everyone to enjoy at the Center.
That is it for another week. Until the next time, “Remember that every day God is saying to you, ‘May I have this dance?’ ”