As we reflect back at the end of another year, did you ever expect to be where you are now? You started a point A, life bounced you around to point B, and then somehow you stumbled onto point C. And now many years later, here you are at point H, wondering how did that happen! Life is unpredictable and although we try to steer the ship, there always seems to be deep currents or dark storms sending us off course.
So we do our best, minding our p’s and q’s, appreciating our friends and neighbors, nurturing the best in ourselves, and still dreaming about what can be. And as we start this great adventure for another year, not knowing what we will discover, I would like to share with you one of my favorite quotes.
“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
As if I had this planned, I’ll end 2017 with the final lesson from the Blue Zone’s Power of 9 which is the “Right Tribe”. Blue Zone researchers found that individuals who lived the longest were either born into or created social circles that promoted healthy behaviors. This isn’t new. Remember when your parents told you to be careful who you hung out with. They knew your social networks could affect your immediate behavior. But research has also shown that your friends can have a long-term impact on well-being and can affect whether you smoke, are overweight, happy or even lonely.
So if you want to enjoy good health and live longer, join the right tribe and surround yourself with supportive, positive individuals who push you to become a better and healthier person.
As we end this year, I want to thank everyone who has supported the Center through their donations of time or money, whether large or small. The list is too long to name every person and business, but you know who you are.
But I also want to thank everyone who has given to their communities whether as a driver for the Tygh School Center Community Bus or for The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels;
volunteering at the Warming Shelter or the SMART program; or whether you serve the community through one of the many service organizations.
For every negative story you hear, there are many more positive uplifting tales of service that are done not for the recognition, but because someone needed to step up and do it. For all of you, take a moment and pat yourself on the back and tell yourself, “Good job”. You are the heart and backbone of your communities.
The actor/singer who sang the Christmas classic “Holly Jolly Christmas” featured in the 1964 Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was Burl Ives. (I received correct answers from Jeannie Pesicka, Don McAllister, Jerry Philips, Jess Birge, Betsy Ayers and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Dave Lutgens – who, if you are an old timer, may remember him as “Shakey Dave”.)
You can’t think of New Year’s Eve without thinking of the late Dick Clark. How many times have you watched Dick Clark host the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and the annual ball drop in Times Square? (Now with the Internet, you can watch the ball drop in Times Square live and still get to bed by 9:15 - which works for me.)
But Dick Clark’s first claim to fame was hosting a television show featuring teenagers dancing to the top 40 hits – which I remember watching to learn the latest dance moves. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this show and for bonus points, in what east coast city was it first produced? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a 45 record of “Palisades Park” by Freddy Cannon who appeared on the show 110 times.
Well, it’s been another week, making it up as I go. Until we meet again, have a safe and Happy New Year.
“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more and don’t get so worked up about things.” Kenneth Branagh