Haven’t we been here before – reaching the end of another year wondering how it passed so quickly; hoping for the best but knowing around some corner we could be slapped in the face like a gust of wind on a frigid day. Do we play it safe, avoiding any corners and wishing for the best? Or do we work to make the best of every day?
Here are some tips from the Aging in the Gorge Alliance, with a few embellishments of my own, on how to make the most of every day particularly during the holidays.
Get out. Check your local newspaper for different events. There are usually many even during the winter months. Can't drive? Invite a friend or family member to join you. Or have company over. Go for a walk and enjoy your neighborhood decorations.
Volunteer. Whenever there is a discussion of how to improve your health or ways to be happier, volunteering is always mentioned. And there is a reason. Helping others can counteract stress, anxiety, depression and increase self-confidence and a sense of purpose. Check out the Chronicle’s Gorge Giving Guide and you will find over fifty non-profits many of which need volunteers.
Drink responsibly. Drinking a glass of wine a day is a Blue Zone recommendation. But excessive drinking can increase feelings of depression. The recommended limit for older men is 14 drinks per week and 7 per week for older women.
Accept your feelings. There's nothing wrong with feeling down from time to time. Be kind to yourself and reach out to family and friends.
Talk to someone. Having some holiday blues is usually temporary. However, lingering feelings of sadness can be a sign of something more serious. But help is available. Reach out to your health care provider if these feelings linger for more than 2 weeks. If you are dealing with any kind of grief, there is a Grief Support group lead by Gwen Thomas every first and third Thursdays at the Center at 10:30 am.
The end of the year means it’s time to renew your Center membership or if you are not a member to become one. The dues are $35 per person or $60 for a couple; and if you want to give a little more you can be a SUPPER DUPER member for $50 apiece. By becoming a member, you are supporting the Center’s mission of enhancing the community by sharing and caring.
After a week break, Saturday Night Bingo will be back in business on December 29th with an “End of the Year” Party. It will be an exciting night because there’s a guaranteed payout of $1000 on the last game – no ifs or buts. And that is in addition to more than $1000 paid out in the other games. Come and enjoy an evening of fun and see if you are the lucky one who could take home $1000. The minimum buy-in is $10 and the games start at 6:00, but if you are new you should arrive by 5:30 to give yourself time to learn the games.
Meals-on-Wheels will be closed New Year’s Eve but open on New Year’s Day, so you can welcome in the new year with a delicious noon meal with friends. And although the Center’s classes are cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, the Center will be open most of the day in case you have questions or need medical equipment.
Bing Crosby starred in two Christmas classic films Holiday Inn with costar Fred Astaire and White Christmas with Danny Kaye. (I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Jeanne Pesicka, Sandy Haechrel and the winner of a quilt raffle ticket Jerry Phillips.)
Last week it was movies with Christmas themes, so this week how about a movie about a New Year’s Eve heist. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of the 1960 film about a plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year’s Eve and was the inspiration for a trilogy of heist films released from 2001 through 2007? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or write your answer on the back of a picture of the Rat Pack: Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Joey Bishop.
Well, it’s been another week waiting for the bell to ring in the new year. Until we meet again, may your dreams come true in the new year.
“Over and over I marvel at the blessings in my life. Each year has grown better than the last.” Lawrence Welk