Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'm Living in a Media Center! Who Knew?

By Ann Burnside Love

We’re not to call libraries “libraries” any more. They are now media centers doing much more than housing books. I know this is true truth, because two of my daughters-in-law are media center coordinators in public schools. One works in an elementary school in Northern Virginia, and the other in a nearly brand new Maryland high school. Both started out as teachers and later took extra masters’ degrees to qualify as media center coordinators. This is where I get my information.

How do I know that I actually live in the middle of a Media Center? Well, I already knew my retirement community had several libraries, for starters.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Olympians Fall More Gracefully Than We Do!

By Ann Burnside Love

The Olympics are reserved for the most masterful athletes, and over the last two weeks, we’ve watched ice skaters gracefully twirl and dance, and also gracefully fall to the ice on their hips, knees and sides. We’ve likewise watched skiers with medals and stellar reputations fly downhill around challenging turns and jumps — only to fly right off track into snow banks and forgiving fences.

Many of these athletes already endured multiple surgeries for broken bones and injured backs. They’re young. They know they will (probably, if they work very, very hard) heal enough to come back next season.

Seniors, on the other hand, have less chance to heal that successfully if our falls are serious. We will probably never climb a ladder again, much less get out on the golf course, tennis court or mountainside in hiking boots. Or even live by ourselves anymore, running errands and getting ourselves to doctor’s appointments in bad weather. Think about the challenging weather we’re experiencing this year alone. How often have you dared to leave the house?

At a retirement community, you don’t have to ask yourself the question: Is leaving the house worth the fall risk? Many of my neighbors — already surprised by the countless amenities available to them now that they are at a retirement community — were also shocked to realize the many ways communities work to keep residents safe. Whatever weather emergency is going on, we don’t have to worry about braving the elements and risking a fall since most communities provide indoor access to dining services, a wellness center and exercise pool.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Olympics, Retirement Living and Inspiration to Keep Moving

By Ann Burnside Love

Let’s face it: The Olympics are a sedentary sport for us retirees. Right now we’re in the midst of our least active two-week period of the winter, if you’re as interested in the Winter Games as I am. Over the years I‘ve planned my Olympics-watching to make sure I don’t miss any ice skating. I’ll ignore much of the rest to keep my own life going appropriately.

But I get caught up watching skiers and snowboarders do all those hair-raising things they do. I’m always amazed when they take off their helmets and we see such glowingly fresh faces of the healthiest, most beautiful young people alive.

Then it occurred to me recently that much of the same dynamic is going on in my retirement community. (What?) There is a tall, slender lady in her eighties who walks two miles vigorously every day and has done so for years. She’s always glowing and positive, even though she has her own health challenges.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Enjoying the Many Holidays Which Fill out Your Year

By Ann Burnside Love

You’ve been retired for a while. You’re doing well, or you’re doing less than well, but managing. Possibly you’re thinking about, or wanting, or needing to make a change to a community where your life will be more comfortable, safer, and where there will be both friends and prompt assistance when you need it. A place specifically dedicated to keeping life inviting and interesting, and generally helping you improve the quality of your life.

When I was still living alone, I was participating less and less in life around me because I was always tired, and frequently recovering from various health challenges. One example of the limitations on my energy was that I had virtually stopped decorating for holidays, except for a small pumpkin for Halloween and Thanksgiving, a few chosen ornaments at Christmas, and a wreath on my front door.

Seasonal decorating, which I’ve always loved, used to be a real pleasure. But now the thought of getting boxes out of storage, unwrapping, arranging, and then reversing the process, loomed in my mind as something definitely to be avoided. I simply didn’t care enough to expend the energy. Thus, along the way I lost interest in all but the major and family holidays.