May 24, 2010

USA: Silver threads among the gold

RENO, Nevada / The Reno Gazette-Journal / Comment / May 24, 2010

By Carolyn Schneider

Ladies and gentlemen, if you have graduated to the senior class of individuals in our country, give yourself a pat on the back and a round of applause. Welcome to the wonderful world of senior discounts, automatic doors, ramps, priority seating, large print, Medicare and free time. These things are meant to enhance our lives, make things easier and acknowledge our senior class status. However, I find that some seniors tend to develop a negative attitude as the years go by, rather than enjoying life to the fullest and counting their blessings.

I'm new at being old. I try to remind myself to keep a sense of humor about getting older.

One day while I was waiting in line at the bank, its computers went down. The elderly man standing behind me started fussing about how long it was taking to get things up and running again. I mentioned to him that perhaps he could come back tomorrow.

"No can do," he said, "at my age, honey, I don't even buy green bananas!"

That man needs to start thinking positive.

We have so many things to be grateful for at our age: a wealth of knowledge, a memory bank full of stories, the richness of our life so far. And we are so fortunate to have the advantages of senior centers and senior living facilities, as well as community services.

The senior discounts referred to earlier can be found all over town, so don't be afraid to ask.

Also, seniors have gained recognition. They used to say we had "gray power," however, that doesn't help much when you're up against something that requires lifting, pushing or pulling. Some places I frequent have heavy doors, such as the library, my doctor's office or the bank. I was recently struggling with one of those when a young man stepped forward and pulled it open for me with ease.

Retirement or senior years grant us freedom. It's a time that allows us to pursue our interests, pamper ourselves, do volunteer work, travel or whatever we choose. No more need to punch a time clock. I feel that it's a precious time and not to be wasted being grumpy or depressed.

A cheerful demeanor will help give us long life.

Do you remember hearing about the comedian George Burns being interviewed regarding his diet?

"Mr. Burns", the journalist asked, "to what do you credit your longevity?"

Burns replied: "At my age, I eat all the preservatives I can get!"

Doesn't a smile feel good? [rc]

Nevada resident Carolyn Schneider
is the author of two books.
The most recent,
"Bing: On the Road to Elko,"
is about her uncle Bing Crosby
and his 15 years as a Nevada cattle rancher.

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