As we age we encounter many different life stages. In August, I mentioned three stages when planning your retirement described by George H. Schofield, Ph.D.: New Freedom, New Horizons, and New Simplicity.
But there is another stage many of us will reach that isn’t as appealing. A time when the mind may be willing but the body isn’t; and your world seems to shrink and your options appear to evaporate. This stage can seem so scary, we often ignore it and avoid preparing for that time when we must make some very difficult decisions.
In an article for Next Avenue, Debbie Reslock urges us to understand what we fear so we can take responsibility for our lives and discover options that alleviate those fears, so we can make decisions that create a future we can accept and enjoy. And to do it before someone else makes those decisions for us.
There are three aging decisions she thinks we should start considering.
Continue to drive or hang up the keys? Most of us fear the day we can no longer drive. Ever since we were young, the car was a sign of our independence: our ability to be in control of our lives. We don’t want to lose that independence and become a burden for someone else.
Stay in your home or move? Your home may now be more than you can handle, but it is familiar and full of memories. Do you modify your home, move into an accessible apartment, a retirement or assisted living community or move near your children?
Continue caring for yourself or ask for help? Struggling with daily life on your own not only presents challenges as we age but can contribute to depression and isolation. But no longer being self-reliant is hard to accept.
These are difficult decisions and the answers are unique for each individual. But it is not too early to be proactive. Start imaging your future life while understanding all the options and consequences, so if you do have to give something up, you can do it on your own terms. Because the ultimate loss of independence is when others, often well-intentioned, start making decisions for you.
Now that the elevator is running up and down, we have started straightening up around the Center and have found there is stuff that the Center really doesn’t need or have room to store. So, on Saturday, October 14th from 9:00 – 1:00, there will be a “house cleaning” sale downstairs that will include file cabinets, bookcases, motorized scooters (without batteries), lift chair, and miscellaneous odds and ends.
The Wasco County Historical Society invites you to its 2017 annual meeting to be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1805 Minnesota St. in The Dalles, Saturday, October 21st. Registration begins at 11:30, a farmhouse dinner by Cobblestone Catering will be served at noon for $20, followed by a presentation from Craig Hector on the history, legends, and lore of The Dalles IOOF Cemetery. Call Jill Durow at 541-296-8400 by October 16th to make reservations.
The next AARP Smart Driver Course will be held at the Center on October 16 and 17 from 8:45 am to 12:05 pm on both days. The cost is $20 and $15 for AARP Members. Call the Center at 541-296-4788 to sign-up. And at the class, you can enroll in a free 20-minute CarFit Safety event that will follow the class.
The title of the instrumental recording composed by David Rose that reached #1 in 1962 (and whenever you hear it you want to start gyrating and throwing your clothes off!) is “The Stripper”. (I received correct answers from Jim Ayres, Diana Weston and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Marcia Lacock.)
I have a faint memory of wanting to watch this television show so I could hear the week’s most popular songs – although I was always disappointed when the original artists didn’t perform. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the television show that aired on NBC from 1950 – 1959, sponsored by Lucky Strikes, and featured versions of the top songs in America. Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a group picture of Snooky Lanson, Russell Arms, Dorothy Collins, and Gisèle MacKenzie.
Well, it’s been another week, wishing and hoping. Until we meet again, don’t let doubt keep you from living.
“What you eat today walks and talks tomorrow.” Esther Blumenfeld