Sunday, June 30, 2013

Permission to Play Games Picnic – July 3

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Pat Whited, cook for the FDGD pancake breakfast,
and Jim Elder, President of Nederland Area Seniors
(Jim and Marty Cheshes will be the Grill Meisters on 7/3)
"Life is like a bicycle. You have to keep moving to keep your balance." That is one of my Dad’s favorite expressions these days. Although he decided at age 85 to stop riding a bike, he still keeps moving, embracing life’s activities, mostly with his feet on terra firma now. Getting fit again has turned back the clock for him, rejuvenating him to the level of body and mind he enjoyed some years ago.

Permission to Play Games Picnic:

To entice all our local friends to come out and play with new friends during this blink in time we dare call Summer, we invite everyone, especially those over age 60, to join us for an outdoor picnic. We will grill out and enjoy potluck sides/salads/desserts together at the pavilion at Chipeta Park (east of B&F Market on the north side of Lakeview Drive). A variety of lawn games (bocce ball and more) will invite us to play outdoors and Ken Adler will install his pickleball equipment for some friendly double-team competitions. Here's the details:
Join us with a potluck dish at 11:30am on Wednesday, July 3, at the park and plan to stay into the mid-afternoon. 
Please call us (303) 258-0799 by Monday afternoon, July 1, to let us know you will attend so we can purchase enough food and non-alcoholic beverages for everyone. As this is not part of our federal meal program, cash donations to offset costs will be gratefully received.

Lately, several local seniors have confided that physical activity has been their saving grace, that taking care of their fitness has become a high priority in aging well. It takes more of their time than it used to, walking, dancing, or working out with weights. But their minds are sharper, they are more interested in other people and the community, and have a better sense of self-worth and purpose in their lives. All because they got off their tired tail ends and got moving. Their "fun factor" in life has improved dramatically since becoming active and involved – in anything.

We could cite here many research articles that extol the virtues of active lifestyles – both physical and social – in the well-being of people of all ages. We know this instinctively. The lion who withdraws from the pride pulls away to die. People who withdraw from the pack tend to wither, too. That does not mean we all have to spend 24/7 in contact with others; reflective, recuperative time alone is an important part of our health and sanity. It means that we drum up some energy and seek out opportunities to share in the community around us to the best of our abilities.

Giving back to a community in which we feel loved or safe helps us become important members of that group of people which surrounds us and protects us. How do we give when we are tired or feeling weak? How do we make commitments when we can’t trust our bones and joints to operate properly on demand? We all know folks who are in more difficult circumstances than ourselves and we can reach out to assist them in some small way. Each of us can do whatever is within our scope to help one person or one family cope with the challenges of their lives or health, even while dealing with our own.

Investing time, effort, and other precious resources into caring for ourselves physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually may rejuvenate us into new directions. Maybe we wish we had learned to paint or play a musical instrument. It is not too late. Maybe we wish we had made friends who would stand by us the rest of our lives. It is not too late. Maybe we wish we could meet a grandchild in another state. It is not too late. Maybe we wish we could walk with a friend along the reservoir at sunset or moon-rise. It is not too late.

Sometimes achieving these wishes means giving ourselves permission to play. It means plucking up our courage to come out of hiding to meet new people. We can set aside judgment of our new friends until we can get to know them a little better. One experience of a person, group, or place is not enough to allow for all of the opportunity that awaits us in getting to know new people. Welcoming each other without snap assessments based on childhood hurts and fears opens new doors. We can encourage ourselves as we would our grandchildren to play well with others and pretend we are having fun until we finally release ourselves into actually having fun.

About the Author: Serene Karplus – is the Executive Director of the Nederland Area Seniors, Inc. (NAS) which assists senior citizens in enhancing their quality of life, enabling them to live a life of respect and honor.  This is accomplished through the facilitation of nutrition, transportation, education, recreation, socialization and outreach programs for all seniors living in the Greater Nederland Area.

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