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No one to talk to


here seems to be an issue with people as we get older in that we need to have contact with others in a general and specific way in order to thrive and survive. We need that stimulus of engag- ing with others to keep our minds ac- tive and alive. We need to never feel that there is “no one to talk to”. I have been giving a lot of thought


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to the aging process as I witness several senior family members slide into that state that we laughingly called “old age” when we were much younger. And I have a few observations about it. I have said, repeatedly, to my children that I do not mind getting older I just do not want to be “old”. They find this amus- ing but I am deadly serious. The current climate of technology has


finally touched me in a strange way. My kids would not allow me to have a cell- phone for several years as they were sure that I would be on it all the time and in the car. I decided it was time to get one and have sur- prised them in that I do not take it with me everywhere I go. It’s very useful, but I am not dependent on it. I also have learned to make the phone interactive to our PC at home and that was a leap for me as well. Texting came after and that is the bane of their existence as now I text them – but what difference does it make? They only answer when they want you. I recently came upon Susan Pinker and her TED lec-


Jim Pappas


ture on longevity and what a revelation that has been. From her lecture I learned that longevity is based not on diet or exercise but mostly on the very simple act of social interaction. That the simple act of shaking hands can lower your stress level. That the care of your friends is more a factor than alcohol or cigarettes. To have several stable relationships is of a higher con- cern than your circumstances. To know that we belong to others and that the grooming of our friendships over the years is more beneficial as it produces better hormones. To take the time to talk to people like the postman or the barista at your local coffee place is better for you than many other things. To find outlets that allow you to interact with others is such a life affirming force. Whether it be a book club, bridge, regular coffee meetings, bowling, or merely lunch visits with people you have not seen for ages – all


of these are giving you a positive spin on your life and allowing your neuron transmitters to fire off good things in your brain. Doing crosswords or sudoku are good, but you need that outside stimulus to survive. You need to be constantly making new friends and basking in the wonder of the ones that have survived the years. After retirement, too many people retreat into what I call a low period. After many years of working they


want to do “nothing” and that is a very big mistake. One needs to re-invent one’s self to try out new things and accept new challenges in life. One of my friends decided, at 68, to try sky diving


and he is hooked on it. One does not need to go to such extremes. Just get out there and engage yourself in the world around you. Find something that always intrigued you and now that you have the time, inves- tigate it. Take up volunteering at some local sport or theatre company and give them your time and energy. It will affirm you in every way as well as allowing you to bring your expertise to use in a different way. Start a new group of people that you have not seen


for ages and begin to meet weekly for coffee or lunch. In doing so all of you will benefit from the time to- gether. Laughter and camaraderie are so enhancing. We can more than benefit from this and make our lives richer as we are aging. To be involved and engaged is a good thing and all of us need to know that we belong and that our company and support bring joy to others. I have always had the role of “social organizer” amongst my friends and I accept that task readily. I like to keep in touch with people and get them to do things together. I have always been a person who con- nects with others and I hope to do so for many years to come. There are so many things that I still want to do and I plan to do them all in the future. To have goals and to know that others care, gives us


a sense of belonging. This means we are never at a state when there is “no one to talk to” and we can continue to thrive and survive in the years ahead.


JOHNSTON Scott


MLA for St. James st.jamesmlajohnston@outlook.com


www.globemoving.cainfo@globemoving.ca • 1373 Spruce Street • Winnipeg Call us today to get your FREE MOVING ESTIMATE!


T: 204-925-7799 • Toll Free: 1-888-456-2321


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14 www.lifestyles55.net


April 2018


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