The Urbana Champaign County Senior Center held an essay contest among its members. The following is the second place essay.
Essay by Barbara Lawson, 72, of Cable:
Being a senior means not letting age define you or what you are capable of. It means keeping your mind and body active, and taking advantage of all the opportunities available to seniors. A few that come to mind are the Senior Center, environmental, health and fitness programs, walking trails, hobbies, book clubs and so much more. The need for volunteers is great, and the list is endless! You can choose from many categories and personal interest. Making a difference in the lives of others strengthens you, gives you a sense of pride and humility and make the world a happier place.
Being a senior is FANTASTIC! It is incredible what we can do if we use a positive mind set. Even with limitations, being a happy, active, productive senior is within reach if you just grasp it.
Getting out of bed each morning is the beginning of a God given day. This is a gift, and we should go forward with the attitude that we are going to be the best we can be and accomplish all that we can. Each day is filled with promise.
When the time comes that the mind isn’t quite as sharp and body seems to protest movement of just about any kind, its okay to simply go at a slower pace. Continue that path, change the course, slow down but stopping is not an option.
To me, being a senior means counting your blessings, having a thankful heart, appreciating all that you have, doing for others, showing compassion and patience, and never saying “I can’t” unless you have first said “I’ll try.” Tomorrow is a new day, embrace it, and be proud to be among the population of older adults defined as SENIOR CITIZENS!
Submitted by the Urbana Champaign County Senior Center.