Stay active, engaged while aging


Engage at any age. I wondered what does that mean? Then I thought, gee, I’m old but I’m not dead and I’m having lots of fun. It’s a much different kind of fun than when I was young.

When I was young and married my husband told me if you want to run around with the girls then go ahead and I will too. But I didn’t want to because I loved him and my children so very much and wanted to spend all the time I could with them. But as the children grew up and I didn’t have many friends, I started to get resentful because he still did what he wanted but all I knew was how to cook and clean and be his wife and maid. Then he passed away and I was lost. But my friend Barb Lawson paid my membership to join the Senior Center.

I was scared to death. I didn’t know anyone but as I was eating the free lunch, a very nice lady named Grace came over to my table and asked me to come to her house after lunch to visit. I got home and said to myself I’m not going over there and I don’t even know her – even though she had given me her name, address and phone number. Then I thought how are you going to have any friends if you don’t go when they ask? So I went and we have remained good friends until her recent passing.

One day I went downstairs at the Senior Center and I wanted to learn to knit. I’m still learning, but the nice ladies all help me so much and then I signed up for Chair Volleyball and I haven’t had that much fun since my children were little.

I met so many nice ladies doing that and one or two men. They have become my good friends and I invited them to go to McDonald’s to eat after volleyball. I taught them a fun card game named Grannys Shaw and every week we go play cards or play at my house.

Since I’ve decided to engage at my age and start living again and have fun, life has been a lot better.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still had a lot of heartache since my husband passed five years ago, my grandson passed three years ago and my first-born passed away 10 months ago (that has been the hardest, but my dear friends at the Senior Center have been there for me every day). I would mention all their names but my old mind gets forgetful sometimes and I sure don’t want to forget anyone. So just remember: it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, just get out there and enjoy life.

Carolyn Cox

Urbana

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